The head of the state’s emergency management division says areas of the state which are dealing with the aftermath of flooding today may see another surge of flood water within the next two days. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Managment administrator David Miller says the National Weather Service predicts rain will fall north of Highway 30 within the next 48 hours.
“Frankly things are pretty well saturated and we have a very narrow window of opportunitiy to mitigate any future damages, so we’ve encouraged local (officials) to look at their critical infrastructure,” Miller says. “What needs to be safeguarded now?”
Miller is urging local governments to take steps “ahead of the storm” to protect drinking water systems and waste-water treatment plants. “If we get more precipitation than anticipated, we could have severe flooding,” Miller says. “If it comes further south than what the Weather Service is currently predicting then, again, we could have severe problems, so we’re paying attention to that.”
Miller will meet again tomorrow morning with National Weather Service officials and make more decisions about where to deploy state resources to help in a potential flood fight. Miller made his comments this afternoon, during a news conference in the governor’s office. Governor Culver is urging Iowans to heed flash flood warnings.
“If you see the rate at which the water is continuing to move in places like Ames, I think you’ll really understand how dangerous the situation can be,” Culver said.
According to the state’s public safety commissioner, a car can be swept away by as little as six inches of water on a roadway. The Iowa Highway Patrol and the D.O.T. are keeping watch over a section of Interstate 80 where water is now on the pavement, in the area between Mitchellville and Colfax.
Listen to the news briefing: capsurge