The rushing flood waters from the Floyd River has severed a four-inch natural gas line which feeds around 95 Le Mars residents and businesses.
Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper says the gas line was located near the Highway 3 bridge.”The line that ruptured was actually bored under the river and I think with the volume of the water and the speed of the current — it uprooted that gas line and broke it,” Schipper says.
Residents noticed the broken line at about 10:00 this morning after smelling odor from the leaking gas. Schipper says line provides gas to a trailer court. They are looking at bringing in a gas truck, or possible a temporary fix. He says another options would be to ask the Iowa Department of Transportation if they would allow a temporary gas line to be installed under the Highway 3 bridge.
MidAmerican Energy crews are still working to fix the line and spokesman Geoff Greenwood says the flooding has caused a lot of issues.
He says they haven’t had a situation like this but have had experience a lot of flooding impact throughout western and southwestern Iowa. Greenwood says they had a lot of concern with the Nishnabotna River. He says the river rose rapidly, but has started to go down.
Greenwood says this won’t be the first problem they have with the high water. “We expect some longer term issues along the Missouri River and down the road probably in eastern Iowa along the Missouri River as well — so lots of impacts statewide because of flooding,” according to Greenwood. Greenwood says they hope to find a solution to get the gas back to the area in Le Mars by this evening.
(Photo and story by Dennis Morrice, KLEM, Le Mars)