Just when it appeared floodwaters were receding in parts of southwest Iowa’s Fremont County, the saturation returned over the weekend. Fremont County Emergency Management director Mike
Crecelius said the water has crept back over roads in the Percival area and the parking area around a truck stop at the exit off Interstate 29 is back underwater. “Everyone’s looking forward to these warmer temperatures. On the other side of that, these warmer temperatures mean all that snow these folks north of us got last week is going to be melting and that comes into the river below Gavin’s Point,” he said.
The Gavin’s Point Dam on the Missouri River is located in South Dakota. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announced over the weekend it had awarded the contract for repairs to the levee closest to Percival. Crecelius said it could be some time before those repairs take place, however.
Meanwhile, Corps officials continue to work with city crews in Hamburg to fortify the levee southwest of Hamburg that breached last month. Crecelius said roughly two feet of water is still covering the southern end of the community. Meanwhile, piles of flood-damaged materials discarded from homes have been placed curbside by local residents.
“Nothing in there is really worth saving in most cases,” Crecelius said. “…DOT is providing eight trucks and three grapples starting today, to pick up all the debris that the folks have been dragging out to the edge of the streets and segregating it by the EPA requirements.”
Due to the ongoing flood conditions, the evacuation orders already in place in Fremont County will remain in place.
“We don’t want somebody being out there and then getting stranded and needing medical attention or the house catches fire and emergency services can’t get to them in any way, shape or form and the only way, then, would be to get a boat and go out there and get them,” Crecelius said. “We’re really not equipped to do that kind of stuff here.”
Crecelius said flood-damaged roads remained closed in the county, but, despite this, some vehicles–including trucks–are still ignoring the road closed barriers.
“Three of them decided to go across Highway 2 and try to get to Nebraska City yesterday,” he said. “They have Jersey barriers on the Nebraska City side, so all three of them had to back their way down the bridge and one of the Fremont County deputies was sitting there when they came back through the water.”
The ticket for failing to obey a “road closed” sign is $195 when court fines are included.
(By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)