She and her classmates helped fill some 20,000 sandbags as the Wapsipinicon River threatened the town of 1,000 people with its worst flooding since 1968. About 30 families were evacuated Tuesday evening and Wednesday while others nervously watched the river lap at their doorsteps.
"Depending on how high the river gets, my kitchen may be under water," said Lori Kuchera, who waited anxiously for the river to crest. "You live by a river, it's inevitable. You just have to roll with the punches - or ride with the tide."
Violent storms struck Iowa on Sunday, killing two people in the western half of the state before dumping heavy rain and hail elsewhere.
The crest of the Wapsie River, which hit Troy Mills and Central City Wednesday, is moving downstream and should arrive in Anamosa Thursday night.
The river is expected to crest at more than 15 feet, two feet higher than the floods of 1993.
CBS This Morning Meteorologist Craig Allen reports that the rivers in portions of Iowa have washed over roads and homes, devastating areas where residents were so wary they put their furniture on the roofs of their homes.
Many parts of the state received 3, 4, and 5 inches of rain, even up to 7 inches in some localities, and there is more on the way.
Homes submerged by floodwaters
Satellite pictures show a couple of different areas or clusters of clouds forming across the Midwest, which will produce the rainfall, Allen reports.
Early Wednesday, the river breached a sandbag dike and swept into tiny Troy Mills, chasing 12 families from their homes. "I thought we were kicking the crap out of the river, but the dike started leaking in so many places and we ran out of sandbags," said Joel Peyton, a sophomore at Coggon North Linn High School.
At Wendy Freese's red, two-story home in Central City, floodwaters had submerged her screened-in porch and a nearby swing set was nearly covered. Some friends in Troy Mills called her and "said it was headed this way, so I started moving the good stuff."
About 5 feet of water was in her basement, slapping gently against the walls and causing the wood posts to make creaking noises. Just outside, around back, railroad ties and other debris floated by. "It's going to be a mess to clean up," she said.