Heavy rains swept through parts of southwest Iowa Tuesday that are still recovering from flooding in March and May — and a more recent spate of high water last week.

Mills County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Hurst says it’s not just the Missouri River. Other waterways are raising concerns. “The Nishnabotna and three other stream beds that we’ll be watching very closely,” Hurst says. “…Those waters could surge to a flood stage very rapidly, possibly with increased rainfall to the north and we could see those waters get out into local areas. Now, a lot of that sometimes gets out into agricultural areas, but that would have an effect on, you know, harvesting for the farmers…Probably the towns of the Village of Mineola, Silver City, Malvern, Emerson — towns such as that — and Hastings need to be vigilant.”

Unlike previous incidents this year, Hurst says Pacific Junction is not at risk for flooding.

Late Tuesday morning, Fremont County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Crecelius met with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials to discuss the status of levee repairs along the Missouri River, including a repaired levee near Hamburg

“They’re confident that the repairs will hold, but they do have surveillance out there to keep an eye on them in case there is a failure, just like before,” he says, “and then if they see an issue, then they will work quickly with their contractors to get it repaired so that nothing happens.”

The most recent National Weather Service forecasts indicate the Missouri River will crest at 22-point-six feet at Nebraska City on Friday before falling. Additionally, the Nishnabotna River above Hamburg could rise to 26 feet by Wednesday evening–roughly eight feet above flood stage. Crecelius says Hamburg and other parts of the county should be fine IF the levees hold. However, both the Weather Service and the Iowa Department of Transportation are expressing concerns about additional flooding on Highway 2 and Interstate 29 in Fremont County. Both were closed because of floodwaters in March and May.

“Part of the problem over around there is the amount of rain we’ve had for the last week…we can’t drain anything out because the river’s too high, so the water’s stuck right there,” Crecelius says. “That’s the biggest problem we have right now is no drainage for rainfall that is right on top of us.”

Several secondary roads in Fremont County remain closed because of the previous rounds of flooding.

(By Mike Peterson, KMA, Shenandoah)