State emergency management officials gave an update Tuesday afternoon on the preparations for dealing with the Missouri River flooding. Chief operations officer Joyce Flynn says all seven counties along the river are preparing and the state is helping with supplies.
Flynn says they are providing sandbags, sand, poly for building berms and HESCO barriers to meet the requests of local emergency management officials. She says they are also getting other supplies ready once the floodwaters hit their peak.
Flynn says are trying to find some pumps for the area and have bottle water coming to the area in anticipation of the need for the water down the road. She says all of the counties are being proactive in watching the river levels and preparing to protect public infrastructure.
Flynn says much has already been accomplished. She says Woodbury County will be hit first and the county believes it has everything protected at this point and the state will work with them to react as the water hits at the end of the week. Flynn says they learned from the 2008 floods and are planning ahead to deal with pets and farm animals that might be impacted by the flooding.
Flynn says Harrison County has already opened a shelter for pets and has some pets there. She says they are also working with ag partners to ensure that farmers know if the electricity will be turned off so they know if that might impact confinement operations, and to find places for farm animals that might be driven out by flooding.
Images from the recent flooding of the Mississippi River in the southern U.S. showed homes that were islands as the homeowners built levies around them. Flynn says the state is tasked with protecting public resources and they don’t keep track of the private efforts.
“We’re not aware of those things occurring, so it may be occurring, but it’s not something the state is participating in. That often happens and citizens will take their own actions,” she said Flynn couldn’t say how successful individual actions to save homes might be.
Flynn did say that some local governments do provide sandbags and other materials for residents, but that varies depending on the budgets of the individual governments.