Flooding Concerns Prompt Action Along Missouri River

Flooding Concerns Prompt Action Along Missouri River

Water levels in reservoirs upstream from Iowa have risen to the point where it's necessary for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to begin releasing more water. That will cause extensive flooding along the river downstream in Iowa, Nebraska and eventually Missouri.

In response to flooding concerns along the Missouri River, officials from several key response agencies came together June 1 to plan for what will be "an extensive flood fight," according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Water levels in reservoirs along the Missouri River in South Dakota have risen to the point where it will become necessary for the Army Corps to begin releasing more water downstream, which will cause flooding in Nebraska, Iowa and eventually Missouri.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, together with their many local, state and federal partners, continue to monitor the situation and provide resources to those areas impacted by flooding. At this time, only one mandatory evacuation has been ordered in Iowa as a result of flooding along the Missouri River, and that is Pottawattamie County. Here's the latest information on the situation county-by-county along the Iowa side of the Missouri River.

Woodbury County:  The county has declared a state of emergency to enable emergency purchases and assistance. Around 250,000 sandbags have been supplied to the city of Sioux City by the Army Corps of Engineers. Most citizens that will be impacted by the flooding will be because of lack of access to their homes. Officials are also keeping an eye on Floyd River and Perry Creek, which may have a greater impact to homeowners than the Missouri River.

Monona County: The county has requested 70,000 sandbags and technical assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers. Monona County officials will conduct an informational meeting regarding the possible flooding which will impact areas in Monona County. The meeting will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. at West Monona High School, 1314 Fifteenth Street in Onawa.

Harrison County: The county has a supply of sandbags but has not placed any at this point.

Pottawattamie County: A small neighborhood with few homes in Council Bluffs was evacuated late last week. These homes are located on the "wet side" of the levee. Pottawattamie County has issued a local emergency declaration to enable emergency purchases.

Fremont: The county has requested 30,000 sandbags from the Army Corps of Engineers. Hamburg is NOT currently under an evacuation order however, citizens have been advised by local officials to not rely on the levee.

Other handy information for residents of flood-threatened areas

General flood information: For planning information from several parties go to www.donttestthewatersiowa.gov.

American Red Cross: To prepare for possible future evacuation routes and information on shelters in Iowa, go to: www.redcross.org/cgi-bin/chapts-new.asp#IA

For farmers and other ag producers or ag businesses:  For information regarding anchoring fuel tanks in flooding, go to: https://publix.onestorm.org/prepare/preparing-your-home/exterior/AnchorFuelTank.aspx

• FEMA YouTube video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVTSWXnLmC4

• For propane tank safety before/during/after flooding from the Iowa Propane Association: www.usepropane.com/uploadedFiles/Consumer/Consumer_Preparedness_Center/Brochure%20Propane%20Safety%20and%20Floods.pdf

Public Health: For flood-related public health information, go to the Iowa Department of Public Health website: www.idph.state.ia.us/EmergencyResponse/Flooding.aspx.

For additional information, contact: Polly Carver-Kimm, Public Information Officer, Iowa Department of Public Health 515-401-7988 or [email protected]. Or email [email protected] or call the 24-hour PIO Line (after 4:30 p.m. and weekends/holidays) at 515-281-6397.

Historical Conservation and Preservation: The State Historical Society of Iowa staff can offer individuals and organizations (ex: museums, libraries) technical assistance regarding conservation and/or preservation of flood-damaged artifacts, memorabilia, records, archival materials and other items. Call 515-281-5111 or visit www.iowahistory.org for more information.

Dial 2-1-1. Citizens with questions or concerns about the flooding and steps they should take should call 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community.

* Basic human needs resource: food banks, clothing, shelters, rent assistance, utility assistance.

* Support for older Americans and persons with disabilities: home health care, adult day care, congregate meals, Meals on Wheels, respite care, transportation, and homemaker services.

* Volunteer opportunities and donations. Contact any of the following agencies.

* Iowa Concern Hotline. When flooding is a concern in the state, Iowa State University Extension's Iowa Concern hotline is available for those who need assistance. Iowa Concern Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-447-1985. All calls are free and confidential, and the operators are willing to assist wherever possible.

* County Emergency Management. Citizens with questions related to the flooding can call their local county emergency management agency. They are as follows:

* Woodbury: Gary Brown, coordinator (712) 876-2212 or [email protected]

* Monona: Randy Ross, coordinator (712) 433-1294 or [email protected]        

* Harrison: Larry Oliver, coordinator (712) 644-2353 or [email protected]

* Pottawattamie: Jeffrey Theulen, coordinator (712) 328-5777 or [email protected]

* Mills: Larry Hurst, coordinator (712) 527-3643 or [email protected]

* Fremont: Mike Crecelius, coordinator (712) 374-3355 or [email protected].

On June 2, the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division opened a Joint Information Center at its offices in Johnston to monitor the situation and provide information to the public.

Social Media: Those wishing to follow the events via Twitter should follow and use the hash tag #MORiver. This hash tag will be used throughout the duration of flooding along the Missouri River. Additionally, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad's office has set up a webpage, https://governor.iowa.gov/news/missouri-river-flooding, for Iowans to get updates on flooding along the Missouri River.

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