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Flood Warnings continue Saturday across Western and Southwest Iowa

News, Weather

March 16th, 2019 by Chris Parks

Flood Warnings remain in place Saturday for the Western and Southwestern Counties in the KJAN listening area. Here is a look at the warnings still in place.

…A FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 830 PM CDT SATURDAY FOR
CARROLL…SAC…CRAWFORD COUNTIES…

At 427 AM CDT, emergency management reported flooding across the
warned area. Several roadways, especially secondary roadways,
remain closed.

* Flood Warning for…
Mills County in southwestern Iowa…
Shelby County in southwestern Iowa…
Monona County in west central Iowa…
Pottawattamie County in southwestern Iowa…
Montgomery County in southwestern Iowa…
Fremont County in southwestern Iowa…
Harrison County in southwestern Iowa…
Page County in southwestern Iowa…

* Until 945 AM CDT Saturday.

* At 943 AM CDT, residual extensive flooding continues today, as
rivers and streams expand to areas unaccustomed to flooding.
Travel is still hazardous, and is discouraged. Please do not drive
across flooded roadways.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
deaths occur in vehicles.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
creeks and streams, country roads, farmland, and other low lying
spots.

A Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring. All
interested parties should take necessary precautions immediately.

The Flood Warning continues for…

Missouri River At Decatur affecting Monona…Thurston and Burt Counties.
Missouri River Near Blair affecting Harrison and Washington Counties.
Missouri River At Omaha affecting Douglas…Pottawattamie and Sarpy Counties.
Missouri River At Nebraska City affecting Fremont and Otoe Counties.
Missouri River At Brownville affecting Nemaha and Atchison Counties.
Missouri River At Rulo affecting Holt and Richardson Counties.

The Flood Warning continues for
The West Nishnabotna River At Randolph.
* At 3:00 AM Saturday the stage was 23.8 feet…or 4.8 feet above
flood stage.
* Flood stage is 19.0 feet.
* Moderate flooding is occurring and Moderate flooding is forecast.
* Forecast…The river will continue to fall to below flood stage by
early tomorrow.
* Impact…at 23.0 feet…County road J18 (120th Street) west of
Randolph begins to flood.

The Flood Warning continues for
The Nishnabotna River Above Hamburg.
* At 2:45 AM Saturday the stage was 29.1 feet…or 4.1 feet above
flood stage.
* Flood stage is 25.0 feet.
* Moderate flooding is occurring and Moderate flooding is forecast.
* Forecast…The river will continue rising to near 29.4 feet by this
evening. The river will fall below flood stage Tuesday afternoon.
* Impact…at 27.5 feet…State Highway 275 south of the gage may be
threatened in several spots.

US education secretary touts school freedom bill in Iowa

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has met with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, legislators and advocates of private schools to promote a proposal that would provide grants to students to attend school anywhere they choose including private and religious schools.

The proposal DeVos outlined on Friday would provide up to $5 billion in federal tax credits to donors to a nonprofit organizations set up in participating states that would distribute the grant money.

DeVos called the Education Freedom Scholarships program introduced in Congress by Sen. Ted Cruz and others “a historic opportunity to expand education freedom.” She denied the proposal will take money away from public schools. Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price says Reynolds and DeVos are working together to “enact their secretive school voucher tax credit scheme.”

Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett says Reynolds is open to looking at innovative ways to help public and non-public schools as well as homeschooling. Rep. RasTafari Smith, the top Democrat on the Iowa House Education Committee says he’s disappointed public education supporters were not invited to the closed-door invitation only discussion arranged by DeVos’ office.

Iowa father testifies at son’s murder trial

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man has testified in the murder trial of his son, who police say fatally shot his mother and staged the crime scene to look like a burglary. The Des Moines Register reports that 73-year-old Bill Carter’s testimony Thursday at the Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs helped establish a timeline for the killing of his wife, Shirley Carter.

The couple’s 46-year-old son, Jason Carter, is accused of fatally shooting Shirley Carter at her Marion County home in 2015. Bill Carter testified that investigators found many of his wife’s valuable belongings untouched, which prosecutors say proves that it wasn’t a burglary.

Marion County Attorney Ed Bull alleges that Jason Carter killed his mother for financial gain. Defense attorney Christine Branstad says investigators failed to follow up on significant pieces of evidence.

State budget experts revise 2020 revenue $20 million lower

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — State budget experts say revenue for next year will be about $20 million less than they had anticipated in December but it’s not enough of a difference to cause lawmakers to adjust their budget plans. The state Revenue Estimating Conference, a panel of three budget experts, said Friday they expect revenue to be $7.84 billion, up 1.5 percent from the current year but about $20 million lower than December estimate.

A lower estimate in March usually means the Legislature must adjust its budget plan to consider the difference but lawmakers are discussing a budget of around $7.6 billion so it requires no adjustment. The panel expects current year revenue of $7.73 billion, an increase of 4.7 percent from the previous year. That’s about $5 million more than the group’s December estimate.

The last two years state officials have had to cut budgets after actual revenue came in less than the estimates. The group also made its first estimate for fiscal year 2021 expecting revenue to grow 2.6 percent to $8.05 billion.

Officials Continue to Recommend Voluntary Evacuations

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

COUNCIL BLUFFS – Pottawattamie County Officials continue to encourage residents in rural areas unprotected by levees along the Missouri River to voluntarily evacuate. Voluntary evacuations are based on expected inundation of flood waters later today and over the next week. Missouri waters are anticipated to reach 32’ later today which would cut off access to areas north of Council Bluffs to Harrison County and west of I-29. Additionally, some residents south of Council Bluffs along and west of I-29 south to Mills County could also be impacted by encroaching waters.

Flood waters impacting several roads in the areas described will be completely inaccessible making any essential and emergency services to those areas delayed and near impossible to reach. The American Red Cross continues to operate a shelter for displaced residents affected by the flood at Salem United Methodist Church at 14955 Somerset Avenue, in Council Bluffs.

Although most of the resident in the described areas have already self-evacuated, those remaining are encouraged to follow suit. The last sweeps of the identified areas are being conducted today as access allow.

Anyone evacuating to a shelter should bring essential items for each member of the family, including:
• Prescriptions and emergency medications
• Foods that meet unusual dietary requirements
• Identification to show residence is in affected area and important personal documents
• Extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items
• Supplies needed for children and infants, such as diapers, formula and toys
• Special items for family members who are elderly or disabled.

Gov. Reynolds issues disaster proclamation for 15 additional counties

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation today (Friday) for 15 more counties, in response to flooding and flash flooding beginning March 13 and continuing. The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for the 15 counties, which includes Adair, Dallas, Guthrie and Shelby.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or a maximum annual income of $41,560 for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food and temporary housing expenses. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim (April 29, 2019).

Disaster Case Management is a program to address serious needs to overcome a disaster-related hardship, injury or adverse condition. Disaster case managers work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice and referral to obtain a service or resource. There are no income eligibility requirements for this program; it closes 180 days from the date of the governor’s proclamation. For information on the Disaster Case Management Program, contact your local community action association or visit www.iowacommunityaction.org.

Yesterday, the governor activated the State Emergency Operations Center and issued a proclamation to allow state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather across the entire state. The proclamation also made the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and the Disaster Case Management Program available in 21 counties, including Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Pottawattamie and Woodbury.

Residents of counties impacted by the recent severe weather are asked to report damage to help local and state officials better understand the damage sustained. Damage to property, roads, utilities and other storm-related information may be reported. This information will be collected by the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and shared with local emergency management agencies.

Iowa DOT establishes multi-state detour due to multiple flood-related closures on I-29

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

AMES, Iowa – Due to multiple flood closures on I-29 from the I-680 interchange (near Loveland) to the Iowa/Missouri border, the Iowa Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Iowa State Patrol, has established the following detour route for Interstate travelers using I-29:

Northbound I-29 traffic is being detoured at I-35 in Kansas City, where travelers will continue north on I-35 into Iowa. From Des Moines, travelers will drive west on I-80 and continue onto I-680 to connect back with I-29 in Iowa.

Southbound I-29 traffic will be detoured at Loveland onto eastbound I-680 where travelers will continue on to eastbound I-80 to Des Moines. From Des Moines, travelers will head south on I-35 into Missouri where travelers can connect with I-29 in Missouri.

Travelers should be aware that westbound I-680 on the detour route in Iowa is reduced to one lane due to damage from previous flood waters. Several roads surrounding I-29 and others throughout the state are also being impacted by flood waters creating difficulty for local traffic to navigate the area. This is a rapidly changing situation, and travelers are urged to check 511 for current flood-related closures and detour routes.

Visit www.511ia.org; call 511 (within Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (nationwide); stay connected with 511 on Facebook or Twitter (find links at https://iowadot.gov/511/511-social-media-sites); or download the free app to your mobile device.

To receive email or text alerts about traffic incidents, road closures, traffic delays, and other restrictions that affect this highway route or other routes you travel, the Iowa DOT offers the “Your 511” option on 511ia.org. It’s easy to subscribe to Your 511 and sign up to receive the email/text alerts. Visit https://iowadot.gov/511/511-full-feature-website-help/how-to-videos for simple, step-by-step instructions.

Missouri traveler information: http://traveler.modot.org/map/

Nebraska traveler information: https://www.511.nebraska.gov/

Cattle wastewater discharged in Pottawattamie County

Ag/Outdoor, News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

CARSON – Iowa DNR field office staff have been working with an animal feeding operation to address high levels of water in two earthen manure storage basins located about 20 miles east of Council Bluffs. On March 11th, DNR staff observed effluent flowing over the top of one basin when visiting Russell Keast, owner of Cyclone Cattle, located at 36488 Beechnut Road, near Carson. Keast confirmed he had stopped the discharge by March 12th.

However, upon follow-up on March 15th, DNR staff discovered both on-site basins overflowing with effluent, or diluted manure-laden water, flowing into two different unnamed streams. Iowa DNR is requiring Keast to stop both discharges. The investigation is ongoing.

No dead fish were observed. DNR staff collected water samples for analysis. The Iowa DNR will continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate enforcement action.

Bluffs man charged with murder & child endangerment in death of a 2-year old

News

March 15th, 2019 by Ric Hanson

A Nebraska County man faces charges of 1st Degree Murder and Child Endangerment causing death, in connection with the death of a child. 31-year old Larry Murphy, of Omaha, was arrested for the death of 2-year old Oakland Oburu, of Council Bluffs.

Suspect Larry Murphy

Council Bluffs Police say at around 11:17-a.m. today (Friday), officers were called to the Casey’s Store at 510 23rd Avenue, to assist Medics for an unresponsive male child at that location.  Officers arrived and spoke to Larry Murphy and his sister.  At this time Murphy stated that he and the victim’s mother had been staying at the American Inn, in Council Bluffs.  Murphy said that he found the child unresponsive and called his sister.  She then came from Bellevue NE. and both started to take the victim to the hospital.

When they reached Casey’s they decided to call 9-1-1.  The child was treated at the scene and then transported to Jennie Edmundson Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

During their investigation detectives received information that in an attempt to calm the child down, Murphy sat on the child, who was laying on the bed, for a period of 20 to 30 seconds and then left the room.  Upon returning, Murphy found the child unresponsive and then called his sister. Detectives believe that Murphy’s actions caused the death of the child.

Murphy was transported to Pottawattamie County Corrections and booked on the charges mentioned.

One man injured in crash near Creston

News

March 15th, 2019 by Chris Parks

The Creston Police Department reports one man suffered possible injuries during a two-vehicle collision on US Highway 34 on Thursday. The accident happened at approximately 4:39pm when a 2012 Ford F150 driven by 64-year-old Mark Richard Williams of Creston was traveling westbound on Highway 34 when he attempted to change lanes and didn’t see another pickup in the other lane. The back half of his truck struck a 2007 Dodge Dakota Quadcab driven by 30-year-old James Michael Snyder of Ankeny in the front driver’s side. The collision caused the Dodge to lose control and enter the north ditch and into a creek. Snyder was trapped by the embankments on both sides of the vehicle and had to be extricated by mechanical means. Snyder complained of severe back and neck pain after the accident and was taken to a hospital by EMS.

Williams was uninjured and was  issued a citation for Improper or Erratic Lane Change and released from the scene. The Ford sustained an estimated $100 damage, while the Dodge sustained an estimated $10,000 damage.