More evacuations in Midwest as floodwaters head downstream

2019-03-18 06:10
(iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Residents in parts of southwestern Iowa were forced out of their homes on Sunday as a torrent of Missouri River water flowed over and through levees.

Heavy rainfall and snowmelt have led to dangerously high water in creeks and rivers across several Midwestern states, with the Missouri River hitting record-high levels in many areas. At least two deaths were blamed on flooding, and two other men have been missing for days.

While river depths were starting to level off in Nebraska on Sunday, downstream communities in Kansas and Missouri were bracing for likely flooding.

In Iowa, the Missouri River reached 9.2 meters on Sunday in Fremont County in the state's far southwestern corner, 0.6 meters above the record set in 2011. People in the towns of Bartlett and Thurman were being evacuated as levees were breached and overtopped.

County Emergency Management Director Mike Crecelius said it wasn't just the amount of the water, it was the swiftness of the current that created a danger.

"This wasn't a gradual rise," Crecelius said. "It's flowing fast and it's open country — there's nothing there to slow it down."

Thurman has about 200 residents. About 50 people live in Bartlett.

Lucinda Parker of Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management said nearly 2000 people have been evacuated at eight Iowa locations since flooding began late last week. Most were staying with friends or family.

Seven shelters set up for flood victims held just a couple dozen people on Saturday night.

In Nebraska, the Missouri River flooded Offutt Air Force Base, with about one-third of it under water on Sunday.

Spokesperson Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake told the Omaha World-Herald that 60 buildings, mostly on the south end of the base, have been damaged, including about 30 completely inundated with as much as 2.4 meters of water.

Hundreds of people remained out of their homes in Nebraska, but rivers there were starting to recede. The National Weather Service said the Elkhorn River remained at major flood stage but was dropping. It was expected to dip back below flood stage by Tuesday.

At least two people have died in the floodwaters. Aleido Rojas Galan, 52, of Norfolk, Nebraska, was swept away on Friday night in southwestern Iowa, when the vehicle he was in went around a barricade.

Two others in the vehicle survived — one by clinging to a tree. On Thursday, Columbus, Nebraska, farmer James Wilke, 50, died when a bridge collapsed as he used a tractor to try and reach stranded motorists.

Two men remain missing. A Norfolk man was seen on top of his flooded car late Thursday before being swept away. Water also swept away a man after a dam collapse.


Read more on:    us  |  weather
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.