Communities are struggling to recover from last week’s “bomb cyclone” that caused massive flooding and raised rivers in 41 locations to new record levels, mainly in the Missouri Valley. However flooding and near flood levels are plaguing the northern Iowa area as well. Ice jams along Bear Creek forced the sandbagging of two homes in Forest City and concerns were raised about even further flooding along the Iowa and Winnebago Rivers. Eyes are on the Iowa River near the Belmond area and further south while Mason City concerns itself with a rising Winnebago River. Pammel Park in Forest City is also underwater from the waters of the Winnebago.
The system brought rain to already saturated and still frozen ground, overwhelming drainage systems and breaching levees along several rivers. Midwest Climate Hub director Dennis Todey said climate change means farmers are facing unpredictable challenges because such storms are becoming more frequent.
The Army Corps of Engineers said outflows from Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River near Yankton, S.D., are dropping, but flooding downstream won’t be over for some time. Several agri-businesses, including Cargill in Council Bluffs and Archer Daniels Midland in Columbus, Neb., have been shut down due to high water.
Todey said the timing of the storm couldn’t have been worse because calving season is under way in the Midwest and stranded cattle without hay could be the next casualties.
Between Iowa and Nebraska, nearly 100 counties have declared a state of emergency. At least two people are known to have died as a result of the storms. And the American Red Cross continues to send disaster relief volunteers to the area to help those affected by the floods.