Iowa DOT plans for Missouri River flooding and offers information for travelers


June 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – June 3, 2011 – 10:30 a.m. – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is presently carrying out emergency contingency planning in light of the Missouri River flooding, which is expected to continue through June. The Iowa DOT is already performing some emergency response activities to assist with regional traffic impacts related to flooding occurring in South Dakota, and making other preparations in the Sioux City area.
As part of its planning effort, the Iowa DOT is evaluating hydrological data and conducting an assessment of elevations of state roadways and its facilities, which are located along the corridor from Sioux City to Hamburg. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine the potential for flood inundation or other impacts. Where it is warranted, state assets will be relocated.

Included in the evaluation is an assessment of the vulnerability of the interstate highways. All interstate routes remain open to traffic at this time.
If it becomes necessary to close the interstate or other state roadways due to flooding, the Iowa DOT will provide the public with as much advance notice as possible. However, the volume and rate of rising flood waters can be unpredictable and the window of opportunity to notify the public may be limited in some instances.

Local area residents planning to use state or interstate highways as evacuation routes should closely monitor travel conditions.
Commercial motor carriers with permitted oversize loads should check availability of designated routes by visiting
Any detours that are established may involve significant out-of-distance travel due to the vast area that the flood waters are forecast to impact. Therefore, persons planning to travel on the far western edge of Iowa over the next month should check travel conditions to select the best route to avoid significant delays.

A proclamation issued by Governor Branstad today outlines several Iowa regulatory provisions pertaining to commercial motor vehicle drivers and motor carriers that have been temporarily suspended for travel associated with the flood response. Complete details are outlined in the proclamation. 
To view the proclamation, live Webcam images, flood-related news releases and flood safety tips for travelers, visit and click on the “Flooding Ahead” sign.

Visit or call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (outside Iowa) for the latest road conditions.