Severe Flooding in Northwest Iowa Destroys Hundreds of Properties

President Joe Biden said Monday night that Iowa was a major disaster and authorized federal assistance to aid with recovery efforts after severe flooding occurred over the weekend in the state.

Over the weekend, rainfall of up to fifteen inches caused catastrophic flooding in some regions.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told reporters on Sunday that severe rainfall caused flooding in northwest Iowa, affecting at least 1,900 houses and destroying hundreds more.

Reynolds, who surveyed the area from above, stated on Sunday that the destruction was extensive and devastating.

According to the state Department of Natural Resources, the floods damaged ten water systems and twenty-one wastewater systems.

Over a thousand people needed to find a haven last night, and Reynolds reported 250 water rescues during Sunday’s news conference.

According to Reynolds, 16 flood gauges registered unprecedented levels, and the rivers peaked many feet higher than the 1993 flood records.

Earlier in the weekend, Sioux County was proclaimed to be under an initial disaster emergency declaration. Further instructions were sent to the Iowa National Guard to prepare a helicopter for use in rescue operations. Water rescues, according to Reynolds, were handled by Homeland’s Urban Search and Rescue teams.

Reynolds requested an accelerated Presidential Major Disaster Declaration on Sunday. The state requested additional federal funding for nine counties and public funding for twenty-two counties in that document.

According to John Benson, the governor’s director of homeland security and emergency management, they are still working relentlessly because the issue is far from done. 

The forecast predicts more rain this week, and according to Benson, the Missouri River gauges are rising rapidly.

In addition to the areas mentioned above, the National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the following locations:  south-central South Dakota, east-central South Dakota, southeast South Dakota, central South Dakota, southwest Minnesota, and northeast Nebraska.