With last spring’s flood still fresh in the memories of many Northwest Iowa residents, authorities are concerned over early flooding with the snow-melt and recent rains.
Sioux County Emergency Management Director Nate Huizenga says the flooding they have right now is from water that can’t soak into the frozen ground. Huizenga says he is offering pumps to cities that need them, but right now they are using their own pumps. River flooding is still a concern as area rivers are rising
Huizenga says it looks like the Floyd, Big Sioux and Rock rivers are going to at least hit moderate flood stage. “And I think two of them are going to go to major if the predictions hold true. The Big Sioux by Hawarden and the Floyd look like they are going to go to major flood stage,” he says. He says they rivers are expected to crest today or Friday. The Rock River in Rock Valley has seen recent major flooding, notably last spring.
Huizenga says they’re prepared. “We’ve been doing some prep work the last couple of weeks, just making sure we had the materials needed if a larger sandbagging operation was needed,” Huizenga says. Authorities are monitoring the entire area, and he cautions drivers
He says they are asking people to be really careful on the gravel roads as all the water and the frost coming out has made them really soft and they are tough to travel on.
Along the Big Sioux River in Hawarden, authorities are battling excessive water run-off as well. City Administrator, Mike De Bruin says the river crest isn’t the biggest concern at the moment “We just have so much groundwater from all the melting snow and in the yards. A lot of people are finding it seeping into their basements or filing their window wells and pouring into their basements,” De Bruins says. “So there’s a lot of people fighting the water.”He says crews are doing their best to clear storm water outlets as well as helping residents when they see excess water on a yard that needs to drain.
Sioux County Engineer, Doug Julius, is alerting motorists that some county gravel roads have washed out, so those driving need to be extra cautious and vigilant as they drive, especially as it gets dark.
(By Mark Buss, KSOU, Sioux Center)