Swimmer’s Itch Affecting Northwest Iowa Lakes

Northwest Iowa (RI) — Here’s another sign that summer is arriving in Iowa — reports of swimmer’s itch have been increasing. D-N-R fisheries biologist Mike Hawkins says swimmer’s itch is a common issue on Iowa lakes.


He says the itchiness is caused by the microscopic parasitic flatworm.


The larvae end up trying to get under the skin of swimmers if birds are not available. Hawkins says the human body fights off the larvae, but it ends up being an itchy situation. Water that’s dirty or full of pollutants is usually what you want to avoid when swimming — but in this case — Hawkins says the cleaner lakes are the ones where you’ll find swimmer’s itch.


He says swimmer’s itch usually is the biggest problem between Father’s Day and the Fourth of July. There are some things swimmers can do to avoid the problem.


He says to be sure to take some precautions when you are done swimming.


He says it’s a problem that can happen all across the state, but they are seeing many reports now in Iowa’s Great Lakes and surrounding northwest and north central Iowa lakes.

Officials at Lake Pahoja in Lyon County say swimmers itch is affecting their lake now. They say they are treating the beach area for these naturally-occurring pests. They echo the DNR’s advice about drying off as soon as possible after swimming.


Paullina’s Gemboree And Truck Show To Be Saturday

Paullina, Iowa — With the way this week has gone, perhaps you could use a break for some fun this weekend. One place you could do that is in Paullina, commonly called “The Gem Of The Prairie.” Paullina’s Gemboree is this weekend. Read more


UPDATE: O’Brien County Residents Eligible For Flooding Assistance

UPDATE: Primghar, Iowa — O’Brien County has been declared a disaster area by Governor Kim Reynolds. That allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of severe weather and flooding in O’Brien County. Now comes word that O’Brien County residents may be eligible for another kind of assistance.

O’Brien County Emergency Management Director Jared Johnson has passed along information from the Northwest Iowa Planning and Development about the Northwest Iowa Regional Housing Trust Fund. Officials say this program can be used for home repairs for qualifying homeowners. There are several levels of assistance the housing trust fund can provide, depending on income. 

Click here for more information about the program.

Click here for an application.

Incidentally, late this week, the Governor also declared Osceola and Lyon counties as disaster areas along with nine other counties. Click here for more information.


Original story, posted Jun 16, 2018, at 07:21 a.m.:

Hartley, Iowa — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for O’Brien County in response to flooding and severe weather beginning June 14 and continuing.

The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather in O’Brien County. At this time, the only state resource requested is the activation of the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant and Disaster Case Management programs.

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.

The town of Hartley was hard hit by flash flooding that accompanied the torrential rains, and on Thursday, Hartley’s Mayor signed a local Disaster Declaration, and made an appeal to the Iowa Department of Homeland Security which made Governor Reynolds disaster proclamation possible.