Bluffs Officials have flood evacuation plan


June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Officials in Council Bluffs say a flood evacuation plan is in-place for about half of Council Bluffs, with a three-tier warning system ready to tell residents when to prepare a bag to flee and when to leave their homes.

At a press conference Monday, officials said they hope the plan, which covers up to 30,000 people, will never be needed, that the levees along the swollen Missouri River will hold for the next two-plus months, and that homes and businesses in western Council Bluffs will remain dry.

Council Bluffs’ three-tier warnings will be sent out through local media outlets and National Weather Service alerts.

A Level 1 Alert means a slowly developing flood event is in the area, and the city recommends residents prepare to leave, including packing a bag.

A Level 2 Alert means a levee is failing and residents are urged to leave.

And, a Level 3 Alert indicated dangerous flooding is on the way. A mandatory evacuation is now in effect. Tornado sirens will sound.

The city has more than 60 buses available to help. People who need transportation are urged to limit their personal belongings to one bag and two pets. Pets must be leashed and in a carrier. Any residents who may need help evacuating in the event of a Level 3 Alert, are urged to call the city at 712-328-4672.

In addition to the media and National Weather Service broadcasts, residents can sign up for automated telephone calls through the city of Council Bluff’s “Code Red” program. Sign-up is available on the city’s website. Those without computers can call 712-328-4672 to register for the calls.