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Southwest Iowa Towns Evacuate, Roads Close as Missouri River Rises

17 March 2019
Southwest Iowa Towns Evacuate, Roads Close as Missouri River Rises

Continued rain chances, melting snow, and frozen ground mean flooding concerns are sticking around.

The emergency is for areas around Valley, west of Omaha, between the Platte and Elkhorn rivers after a levee failed on the Union Dike, the National Weather Service said.

Authorities also confirmed Saturday that a bridge on that highway that crosses the Elkhorn River had been washed out Saturday.

A flood warning has been issued for the Nith River through New Hamburg and Ayr as flows are expected to peak on Friday afternoon and late Saturday morning, respectively. Some of the rivers expected to be impacted the most include the Yellow, Fox, Kickapoo, Mississippi, Baraboo, Rock, Pecatonica, Sugar, and Turtle.

Rising waters on the Missouri River also led Iowa officials on Friday to shut down much of Interstate 29 from the Missouri state line north about 85 miles (137 kilometers) to about Missouri Valley, Iowa. Keep in mind to never drive through high water as you don't know how deep it really is or how stable the ground is.

The swollen Missouri threatened a nuclear power plant in southeastern Nebraska.

Speed River (City of Cambridge): Flood coordinators in the City of Cambridge are advised to monitor and prepare to close Blackbridge Road at the Speed River on Friday. The city is now working to bolster levees. Flood stage is 12 feet. Flood stage is 9.0 feet.

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission employees used a fan boat to rescue residents in Gretna.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small creeks and streams, country roads, farmland and other low-lying spots.

Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska have all declared states of emergencies. "There is no risk to the public or employees as we continue to operate and all safety procedures established for flooding conditions will be followed". There are no immediate reports of any injuries, but homes and trees were damaged and power was knocked out to thousands.

The National Weather Service river gauge upstream from Cooper Nuclear Station was swept away, so measurements from the plant were being shared with the NWS, Becker told Newsweek.

Full closures of I-29 are in place at U.S. 136 at Rock Port, Mo.

Major to moderate flooding has been reported across Nebraska.