Tuesday News, June 17
Le Mars Receives 5 inches Of Rain - Concerns About Flooding
(Le Mars) -- Last night's storm dropped at least five inches of rain on Le Mars, causing concern about flash flooding. The Floyd River rose at least six feet in four hours. Strong winds that blew through the town knocked down some trees. The Iowa Department of Transportation reports water had overflowed on Highway 75 near Hinton closing the northbound lanes. Other closures include Highway 75 near Rock Rapids, both lanes of travel, Highway 18 at Rock Valley, both lanes of travel and state highway 9 due to surface water hazzards.
Plymouth County Sheriff's Deputy Jary Vermeys updates the status for Plymouth County from last night's storms.
As of early this morning, Highway 75 northbound was still closed. D-O-T officials were trying to clear the debris that was on the highway from the flooding. Deputy Vermeys says officials are closely watching the Floyd River. He says the river measures 18 feet and flood stage is at 20 feet. Vermeys says the Sheriff's office is not aware of any structural damage from last evening's storm and although there were instances of water over some county roads, he is unaware of any county roads that suffered damage due to the excessive heavy rains.
Rock Valley Residents Evacuate Due To Flooding
(Rock Valley) -- Residents of Rock Valley were evaculated Monday evening due to flooding. Many had to stay in emergency shelters, as water rose 11 feet above flood stage. Rock Valley mayor, Kevin Van Otterloo has declared an emergency for the town. People were trying to protect their homes by sandbagging. The Sioux County Sheriff's office reports that the city of Rock Valley is asking for volunteers to assist with sandbagging operations. If you are able to assist, city officials ask that you go to the Trinity Christian Reformed Church parking lot at 2020 8th Street southeast, beginning at 8:00 a.m. today. Bring your own shovel and gloves and try to car pool if possible. Rock Valley is accessible two ways. From the south, take county road K-30 or come into Rock Valley from the east by taking U-S Highway 18 west bound. Rock Valley is not accessible from the west or from the north.
Junge Warns Against Driving Through Flooded Roadways
(Le Mars) -- With five inches of rain plus the two inches from Saturday evening, Plymouth County is under a flash flood watch and the Big Sioux River area near Akron and Westfield has a flash flood warning. Plymouth County Emergency Management Services Director, Gary Junge says don't take a chance if you see water flowing over the roadway. Junge says its better to "turn around and don't drown".
Junge says today's storms lend to the possibility of isolated flooding. He says conditions can change rather quickly.
Junge says motorists should not only know the conditions at your current location but it is equally important to know the conditions of your destination.
The Emergency Management Director says he has been watching the rains locally, as well as, the rains falling upstream, and the effects upon local streams and rivers.
Rock Rapids Under Water
ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - The Rock River is flooding a portion of Rock Rapids in northwest Iowa after weekend rain in Iowa and Minnesota sent a rush of water downriver.
The river crested at 24 feet at 5 a.m. Monday, which is 11 feet above flood stage. It is receding and is expected to fall below the 13-foot flood stage on Wednesday but a flood warning remains in effect through Thursday. More rain could fall in the area with additional storms moving in.
Sheds used as shelter for animals at a small zoo inside Island Park have water up to the rooftops. The animals including deer, peacocks, turkeys, pheasants and goats had been taken out of the sheds to higher ground before floodwaters arrived.
Red Cross To Help Flood And Tornado Victims
SIOUX CITY, IA, -- The American Red Cross serving Greater Iowa has mobilized to provide shelter to communities in Northwest Iowa who are evacuating residents due to flooding. Trained volunteers are setting up a shelter in the community of Rock Rapids and are working with other communities in anticipation of shelter needs due to expected flooding across northwest Iowa.
At the same time volunteers are responding to a house fire in Emerson, NE and volunteers are a ready to support the American Red Cross response effort to tornadoes in northeast Nebraska.
Tornadoes Hit Pilger, Nebraska -- Killing Two People
PILGER, Neb. (AP) - Stanton County Nebraska Sheriff Mike Unger says 50 to 75 percent of Pilger was destroyed after two tornadoes roared through northeast Nebraska.
Unger said that the storm caused "total devastation" in the town of about 350. He says the local school is likely damaged beyond repair.
Unger says five people had to be rescued from a rural home day care northwest of Stanton. That home was hit just before the storm moved into Pilger.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was preparing to assist local emergency responders and help with the cleanup. Heineman and officials with the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency were expected to arrive in the area Tuesday morning.
Hospital officials say at least one person is dead and 19 were injured in the tornadoes that ripped through northeast Nebraska, but some have been released and one patient has been transferred to an Omaha trauma center.
A spokeswoman for Faith Regional Health Services in Norfolk said that the hospital was treating 16 patients after the massive storm that destroyed more than half of Pilger. Some of those patients were later released, others went into surgery, and one was transferred to Omaha.
Providence Medical Center in nearby Wayne treated three tornado patients, including two who had lacerations. Providence Medical Center spokeswoman Sandy Bartling says two were released later Monday evening, and a third patient was in stable condition.
Authorities say a 5-year-old was killed in the northeast Nebraska tornado that destroyed more than half of the town of Pilger.
The Stanton County Sheriff's Office confirmed the death in a statement late Monday. Authorities say the child was among several people near the town's Main Street who suffered critical injuries when the tornado struck.
The tornado was one of two that touched down in Stanton County. Authorities say the first landed southwest of Stanton around 3:45 p.m. and leveled a farm house. Officials say the second tornado touched down shortly afterward southwest of Pilger before hitting the town. Several major buildings were destroyed, including the Fire Department, a bank, a church, and the postal office.
The statement did not identify the child who was killed or specify a gender.
Thousands Left Without Power Due To Monday Storms
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Tens of thousands of Iowa residents were without power early Tuesday after severe storms packing high winds and heavy rain crossed the state.
MidAmerican Energy had more than 27,000 customers without power early Tuesday morning due to the severe weather.
Alliant Energy reported nearly 12,000 Iowa customers without power, including about 6,000 in the Cedar Rapids area.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives showed nearly 800 customers without power, with the most in Franklin County.
The storms were part of a large system that walloped parts of other Midwest states, including Nebraska.
Le Mars City Council To Review Airport Master Plan
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to meet today and on their agenda will be discussion focused on the Municipal Airport master plan. The city council will also review the city sidewalk ordinance to decide whether it needs changing so as the city has no liability for the sidewalks.
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