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Engineer fears levees will fail test of time

News

June 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

With the floodgates open at Gavins Point Dam, a record one-point-one million gallons of water per second are gushing into the already-flooded Missouri River. Rod Nohr, a professional engineer based in Yankton, South Dakota, says most of the temporary levees are designed — at best — to with stand a couple of weeks of high water. Nohr says those levees are likely doomed.

“Over time, I don’t care how they cover them with plastic and sandbags, the earth and that will become liquefied by long-term exposure to water and you’ll start having really serious erosion problems, especially if there’s current there,” he says.

Communities in the immediate threat zone in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa have ringed homes, businesses and important infrastructure with these temporary berms and floodwalls. Ever seen the Grand Canyon? When it’s water versus anything solid, the water will eventually win.

“The concerns probably aren’t going to be today or tomorrow,” he says. “It’s going to be within a week or two or three when you’re going to see sandbag walls being undermined or these temporary plastic-lined levees liquefying and starting to leak and fail.” Nohr says the water will eventually find the weak spots in temporary barriers.

He says, “Water pressure seeps in and actually liquefies the levee wall so these temporary ones that are pushed up with bulldozers, exposure to deep water and water with current over two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks — can be a really become a really serious problem.”

Nohr, whose company works with grain-handling facilities along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers, says levees and sandbag walls have to be watched constantly as the high water pushes against them. He’s not optimistic for any of the small towns standing in the way of the flooding Missouri, especially Hamburg, in far southwest Iowa.

(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)

Arrests made in car theft incidents

News

June 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Two Red Oak men were arrested Tuesday afternoon in Montgomery County on theft and criminal mischief charges, after they allegedly stole vehicles from Page and Montgomery Counties, and wrecked both vehicles. Authorities say 19-year old Cody Dean Johnson and 20-year old Micheal Eugene Sickels, both of Red Oak, allegedly stole a 2000 Buick Regal from a residence off of Highway 48, between Shenandoah and Essex, early Tuesday morning. The wrecked car was found just before 1-p.m. Tuesday, in Montgomery County.

The duo also allegedly stole a 1992 Oldsmobile. Sheriff’s officials say they drove the car through two corn fields, causing over $1,000 damage to the crop belonging to Gordon Arnold, of Red Oak. The vehicle was also driven over a creek embankment before Johnson and Sickels allegedly tried to set it on fire. The vehicle was considered a total loss.

The pair were taken into custody at around 3-p.m. Tuesday, on charges of theft in the second-degree and criminal mischief in the second-degree, and were being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $10,000 bond each.

Additional charges were leveled against them in Red Oak from incidents which occurred earlier in the day in Red Oak, and, charges are pending in Page County.

Southbound I-29 off-ramp at exit 1 near Hamburg closed due to flooding

News

June 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – June 15, 2011; 1:45 a.m. – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) is reporting the closure of the off-ramp on southbound Interstate 29 at exit 1 (Iowa 333 and Fremont County Road J-64) near Hamburg due to flooding.
In addition to the ramp closure, the right northbound lane of I-29 is closed at this location. Iowa 333 from I-29 to Hamburg is also closed.

For current updates on road conditions – 24 hours a day, visit http://www.511ia.org/ or call 511. 

For traveler assistance, call the Iowa DOT’s flood information call center 866-452-8510 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

For all of the Iowa DOT’s flood-related information, visit http://www.iowadot.gov/ and click on the “Flooding Ahead” sign. You can also follow the Iowa DOT on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/iowadot/.

Amtrak restores service over flooding Missouri

News

June 15th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Amtrak is restoring its California Zephyr passenger train between San Francisco and Chicago, which was disrupted by the flooding Missouri River in the Omaha area.

Amtrak says Tuesday that service will be restored for the complete route, except in Omaha.

Service was suspended on June 7 between Denver and Chicago, which included Fort Morgan, Colo., Nebraska, and Iowa, except for Fort Madison, because of flooding and closures on Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks in the Omaha area.

Amtrak says service will resume on Wednesday with the eastbound train from California, and on Thursday with the westbound train in Chicago.

Temporary levees have been built over BNSF tracks to help protect Omaha and Bellevue. Amtrak says alternate transportation will be provided between Lincoln and Omaha and between Creston, Iowa, and Omaha.

Branstad to tour flood-threatened Hamburg

News

June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is heading back to western Iowa to check on flooding along the Missouri River.

His office says the governor and Derek Hill, the administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, will be in Hamburg Wednesday morning to tour a secondary levee where workers are racing to add several feet to the top.

Branstad and Hill will hold a news conference after their tour.

Damage Assessments to be Conducted in Six Counties along Missouri River

News

June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

(DES MOINES) – The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) will be conducting joint damage assessments with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local officials as a result of flooding which began on May 25, 2011.

Teams will conduct joint preliminary damage assessments (PDAs) beginning June 16 for the federal Public Assistance program. The teams conducting the PDAs will be comprised of representatives from state, local and federal governments.

Public Assistance joint PDA teams will review damage in six counties along the Missouri River: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury. The Public Assistance program provides to public entities and select nonprofit agencies funding to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts,
and other public facilities; or to cover costs of emergency protective measures such as construction of temporary levees, berms, dikes, and sandbagging; pumping of trapped floodwaters that threaten improved property; emergency medical services; activation of a State or local emergency operations center; and emergency
evacuations of medical and custodial care facilities.

Data from the joint PDAs could be used by Governor Branstad to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, which, if granted, would make Public Assistance funding available in the designated counties. In order to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration, damages incurred must meet criteria set by the federal government.

“We need to do what we can to help these communities now, so they won’t have to wait months for any possible federal assistance,” said HSEMD Administrator J. Derek Hill. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division is responsible for the coordination of State disaster response and recovery activities. HSEMD has staffed the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) since June 1, 2011. As of June 10, the
SEOC has also been staffed by personnel from the Iowa National Guard, the State departments of Human Services, Public Safety, Transportation, Natural Resources, and other agencies as appropriate.

For further information on the disaster process and the current situation in Western Iowa, visit http://www.iowahomelandsecurity.org

Updated flooded road info. (12:30-pm, Tue.)

News

June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

I-29 in Fremont County near Hamburg: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is extending a flood barrier in this area that includes a portion of I-29. The right lane of northbound I-29 is closed for a half-mile section while work on the barrier wall is underway.

Iowa 333 in Hamburg: Iowa 333 is closed from I-29 into Hamburg. Access to Hamburg is currently available via U.S. 275.

I-29 near Hamburg in Fremont County: A full breach in the levee in Atchison County, Mo., occurred Monday. I-29 is expected to become inundated with flood waters in the next 24-48 hours.

LAKE MANAWA STATE PARK CAMPGROUND CLOSED

News

June 14th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The Lake Manawa State Park campground has been closed through August due to safety concerns that the levee holding the Missouri River back will not withstand the pressure over the expected eight weeks of flooding.  The park will remain open for day use until there is direct evidence the levee will not hold. Kevin Szcodronski, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau says “If the levee were to breech, there would be little time to evacuate the campers so we decided to take the cautious approach and close the campground,” said.  

Szcodronski said the DNR is in the process of notifying campers holding the 125 reservations at Lake Manawa with arrivals between Tuesday and Aug. 31 of its closure and refunding their money.  Lake Manawa has 36 electric and 35 non electric campsites. Lake Manawa is the third state park that will be impacted by the Missouri River.  The DNR has closed Wilson Island, also in Pottawattamie County, and Lewis and Clark State Park in Monona County. Nearby state parks Waubonsie, Viking Lake, Lake Anita, Prairie Rose, Stone and Black Hawk will likely see increases in attendance due to the park closures. 

Szcodronski said “The domino effect will be that other nearby parks will likely absorb campers who would normally be going to one of the closed parks that will in turn make it more difficult to find a campsite for the rest of this summer and likely into 2012.  Campers should also consider one of our fine county parks in the area.” 

Szcodronski said the three popular parks draw about 66,000 campers per year.  Lake Manawa State Park hosts an estimated 1.5 million park visits per year, the highest total in the Iowa state park system.

8AM Newscast 06-14-2011

News, Podcasts

June 14th, 2011 by admin

w/ News Director Ric Hanson

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7AM Newscast 06-14-2011

News, Podcasts

June 14th, 2011 by admin

w/ News Director Ric Hanson

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