Western Iowa officials warning folks to stay out of flooding Missouri River


June 2nd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Western Iowa officials are sounding the alarm, urging people to stay out of the ever-expanding Missouri River. Jeremy McClure, a crime prevention officer in the Sioux City Police Department, says there’s an especially strong current in the river channel. “There’s a lot of pollutants in the water,” he says. “The tides are very dangerous with this river, especially in the Sioux City area.” Sioux City Police are asking the public to stay away from the riverfront.

“The only people we’re letting through at this time are people that are actually volunteering or actually have business to conduct. Otherwise we ask everyone to please stay off the riverfront and let volunteers and city and county crews have the space that they need to do their work,” McClure says. “There’s a lot of heavy machinery down here.

There’s a lot of movement down here and we don’t want to see anyone get hurt.” McClure warns scammers have begun targeting home owners who’re trying to protect their property from the floodwaters.

“The biggest thing is not to give out your credit card information or bank card information to anyone that calls you unsolicited,” McClure says. “Cell phone companies generally send a text message notifying you of problems with your account. We advise that instead of clicking on any links in emails or anything like that…Instead, go to the numbers that you know and trust…get ahold of the company through a method that you know is valid, online or via telephone.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from six dams along the Missouri River to drain water from record rains in South Dakota and western states. Melting snow in the northern Rockies adds to the flood concerns. Officials expect the river to crest in Sioux City in mid-June. The city council in South Sioux City, Nebraska has approved spending a million dollars to build a flood wall to protect the town.

(Radio Iowa)