Governor Branstad is in western Iowa on an aerial and ground tour of the areas along the Missouri River impacted by the flooding. Branstad talked with Radio Iowa via telephone about the flood fighting efforts in Sioux City.
Branstad said he was “really impressed” with the volunteer spirit of the community, and says Sioux City has always responded when there is a disaster.
Branstad says the flood fight is a three-state effort with South Dakota and Nebraska coordinating their efforts with Iowa. He says he’s met with a number of the mayors on the Iowa side who’re working together, and has talked with the governor of South Dakota and lent the state a Blackhawk helicopter.
Branstad says he also has been talking with Nebraska’s governor. He says they are trying to help businesses as much as they can to prepare for the rising water. Branstad says there are some major industries downstream from Sioux City that’re putting up barriers and hoping to keep out the floodwaters. The governor has used his power to authorize the use of state resources to fight the flooding.
The governor designated all the counties bordering the Missouri River disaster areas to allow them to get state help. The proclamation covers Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties. Branstad says the projections show this flood will wipe out records set by all others.
“This could be the worst flooding ever on the Missouri River, and it could last for a long period of time,” Branstad says. He says those are the top concerns, the magnitude and length of the flooding. Branstad says Iowans who’re are interested in helping out can make donations to disaster recovery agencies, and those who live close enough can help out with the sandbagging efforts.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources closed all state run boat ramps on the Missouri River this morning and is requesting that the U.S. Coast Guard suspend recreational boating on the river due to dangerous river flows and flooding conditions.
Josie Cooper, KSCJ, Sioux City also contributed to this story.