Flooding is expected to worsen in many areas of Iowa with the forecast calling for more heavy rain tonight into tomorrow. Many cities in areas of central Iowa have already experienced record or near-record flooding.
Julie Vokoun is the assistant Tama County emergency management director. She says the town of Chelsea has been hit the hardest by the overflowing Iowa River.
“Chelsea is completely under water and most residents have evacuated,” Vokoun says. “V-18, which runs through the middle of Chelsea, is closed and completely covered with water.” Fewer than 300 people live in Chelsea, which is set in a floodplain and has suffered severe damage in several floods.
Several major highways around the state are closed due to flooding. Vokoun says a host of rural roads in Tama County are shut down.
Governor Branstad listed Tama County and a dozen other counties around the state in a disaster proclamation issued Tuesday.
The move authorizes the use of state resources to help recovery efforts. The other counties included in the disaster proclamation are Buena Vista, Butler, Cherokee, Floyd, Ida, Iowa, Jasper, Mahaska, Marshall, Plymouth, Sioux, and Wright.
By Lance Renaud, KFJB, Marshalltown