Flooding in some Iowa locations to surpass 1993 records

By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)

National Weather Service forecasters says some river levels in northwest Iowa will crest above levels set during the historic flood of 1993.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday hundreds of Rock Valley residents were ordered to evacuate due to heavy rains and a surging Rock River. Boats and helicopters were used to rescue people from swamped homes. Four shelters were set up for Spencer residents who had to evacuate their homes. However, the shelter at Spencer’s Y-M-C-A was inundated with floodwater and had to be evacuated. The 70 people there moved to shelter at a nearby church.

Roads in and out of Le Mars are blocked by floodwaters and travel is not advised in many northwest Iowa counties. A section of Union Pacific Railroad track north of Sheldon is washed out.

By Saturday night, the west fork of the Des Moines River in Emmetsburg was six feet above flood stage — higher than it was in 1993.

Governor Kim Reynolds has declared 21 counties state disaster areas and she plans to seek a presidential disaster declaration. Reynolds, who toured the flood zone in a helicopter Saturday afternoon, said the “devastation is widespread.”


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