Thursday News, May 30
No Flooding From Wednesday Evening's Rains
(Le Mars) -- Last evening's rain may have placed a few people on edge wondering if additional flooding would occur, but early reports from the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department indicate there wasn't any flash flooding around the Le Mars or Plymouth County area.
Waste Water Treatment Plant Dodges Disaster
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Waste water Treatment Superintendent Ron Kaiser is thinking he has dodged what could have been a major disaster. Kaiser says the city's waste water treatment facility was able to handle the extra water from the heavy rains and flooding, and he adds the treatment plant is "holding up well."
Kaiser says the waste water treatment plant did get to three million gallons in one day, but it was able to handle the extra load. For a while on Monday, the Le Mars Waste Water Treatment facility looked like an island with flood waters completely surrounding the plant. Kaiser says had the flood waters actually penetrated the facility, it would have spelled trouble for the city.
Kaiser says officials considered the idea of deploying sandbags around the facility, but later thought sandbags may not be needed.
Le Mars is getting set to construct a new waste water treatment plant that will be located to the west of the present facility. New piping is in bundles near the site for the new facility, and currently sets ready to be placed in the ground. Kaiser says he is relieved knowing the piping system for the new facility did not float down river.
Monona County Reports Storm Damage
(Onawa) -- Monona County authorities are reporting straight line winds did some extensive damage to structures. Monona County Sheriff's officials says the Knoepfler Chevrolet car dealership Onawa was damaged and several trees were downed. Authorities say very strong winds led to the damage, but it was not a tornado.
Branstad Adds More Counties To Disaster List, Including Lyon County
(Des Moines) -- Governor Branstad has added another eight Iowa counties to the list hit by recent storms and flooding. Lyon county was the only additional northwest Iowa county to be proclaimed as a disaster area. The others include: Benton, Grundy, Johnson, Louisa, Mitchell, Poweshiek and Wapello. On Tuesday, the governor had declared a total of 13 counties eligible for state assistance. In northwest Iowa they included Ida, Cherokee, Buena Vista, Sioux and Plymouth Counties.
Heartland Rivers On The Rise
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Rivers in the nation's heartland are rising yet again, and with heavy rain in the forecast, parts of Iowa, Missouri and Illinois are bracing for another round of flooding.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday that 2 to 4 inches of rain will be common as strong storms fire up through Friday; some areas could see up to 6 inches.
How bad things get will depend on how much rain falls and where.
The weather service says a worst-case scenario would be widespread heavy rain along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, and along the Missouri River. The Mississippi and many of
its tributaries are already above flood stage, and the Missouri is getting close.
Forecasters say the Mississippi could reach its highest level at St. Louis in nearly two decades.
Rotary Club Hosts Bicycle Safety Fair
(Le Mars) -- Nearly twenty youth between the ages of five to 13 participated in the Le Mars Rotary Bicycle Safety Fair held last evening at the O'Toole Park. Steve Harrington, president of the Le Mars Rotary says the bicycle fair was to teach the youngsters about how to remain safe with their bikes.
Harrington says third graders is the ideal age to teach bicycle safety.
Each of the young participating bicyclist received small reflectors that were placed on their bike and helmet. Bike Central and the Le Mars Police Department assisted with the bicycle safety fair.
Ackley Man's Body Recovered From Flash Flood
PARKERSBURG, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have recovered the body of a man whose vehicle was swept off the road by flood water in northeast Iowa.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the body of 71-year-old Howard Hodson of Ackley was taken Wednesday to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny.
Witnesses told Butler County Sheriff's deputies that Hodson drove his sport utility vehicle into rapidly moving water Monday morning. The car was washed into a creek west of Parkersburg.
Officials say deep swiftly moving water made it too dangerous for divers to reach the SUV immediately after the accident.
Search For 15 Year Old Girl Is Suspended
DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are halting their search for an Iowa teenager who was abducted more than a week ago.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced Wednesday that investigators have exhausted their ground search efforts for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. Officials also say flooding has
affected their efforts.
Officials have searched more than 250 square miles in the Dayton area, about 60 miles north Des Moines.
Police suspect Michael Klunder abducted Kathlynn and her 12-year-old friend on May 20th in Dayton. The younger girl was able to escape. Klunder was later found dead. Some of Kathlynn's blood
was found last week, dampening hopes of finding her alive.
The announcement comes the same day Kathylnn's father asked Senator Charles Grassley to support stricter sex-crime penalties. Michael Shepard argued it could have prevented her abduction.
Trial Date Scheduled For Bachmann Campaign Ethics Violations
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A trial date has been set for next year in a lawsuit filed against former Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann by an Iowa campaign aide.
Barb Heki claims in the lawsuit that Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman, state Senator Kent Sorenson, took an email list from Heki's private computer in November 2012. The list included names
and contacts for thousands of Iowa families who were members of the Iowa home-school network. The campaign wanted to promote Bachmann to Christian home-school advocates.
Heki, of Johnston, says she had refused to provide the contacts to the campaign so Sorenson took the information from her computer when she wasn't using it.
On Wednesday a jury trial was scheduled for May 12th, 2014, and is expected to last seven days.