City of Sheldon Issues Urgent Flooding Advisory: Wastewater Capacity Severely Impacted

UPDATE from Sheldon City Manager Sam Kooiker: “Update: 12:15 AM 6/22/24: Todd Uhl, our PW Director just informed me that a 10-inch water line on the north side of Highway 18 West of the Sheldon Motel has washed out and caused dramatic water loss to the City’s water system. NW Iowa Community College, Tradewinds Apartments, Sheldon Motel, and several other businesses and residences will be severely impacted by this, and also may affect water pressure elsewhere.”

Statement directly from the City of Sheldon:

Sheldon, Iowa – June 22, 2024 – The City of Sheldon is currently facing a major emergency due to severe flooding, which has significantly impacted our wastewater capacity. Normally, our wastewater system processes approximately 800,000 gallons per day. However, we are now experiencing flows exceeding 4 million gallons, causing unprecedented strain on our infrastructure.

Critical Actions Required from Residents:

  • No Water Use: To alleviate the pressure on our wastewater system, we urgently request all residents to cease water use. This includes refraining from doing laundry, taking showers, and minimizing toilet flushing.
  • Sump Pumps: Residents are reminded that sump pumps should not be connected to the sewer system. Urgent! Flooding information | City of Sheldon (

Current Status:

  • Sewer Backups: There are multiple sewer backups occurring across town. Two critical lift stations (NCC and North 5th) are currently down.
  • Business Closures: Several local restaurants have voluntarily closed to support our efforts, and we deeply appreciate their cooperation. Large industrial users have also volunteered to reduce consumption.
  • Travel Advisory: No travel is advised out of town due to hazardous conditions. There are numerous roads that are closed in Northwest Iowa. The Union Pacific Railroad north of town has been washed out and is currently closed.
  • Water Rescue Operations: Ongoing water rescues are being conducted near the Golf Course on Nest. Multiple vehicles have been lost to floodwaters, but thankfully, there have been no reported injuries or loss of life.

Community Support and Coordination:

  • Major Water Users: AGP, our largest water user, has significantly reduced their operations to a bare minimum to aid in this emergency.
  • Temporary Dump: A temporary tree dump has been established at 1103 Western Ave, as the regular dump north of town is closed. Temporary Tree dump at 1103 Western Ave | City of Sheldon (
  • Government Assistance: Senator Lynn Evans and Senator Jeff Taylor have been in direct contact with local officials and with Governor Reynolds. Efforts are underway to secure additional resources, and discussions for a Presidential Declaration are ongoing.
  • Homeland Security: Iowa Homeland Security is coordinating with local officials, including O’Brien County Emergency Management director Jared Johnson, to provide necessary resources.

Upcoming Actions:

A special City Council meeting is being scheduled for early next week to address this crisis. Agenda is in progress.

We urge all residents to comply with these emergency measures to help manage this crisis effectively. Your cooperation is crucial in preventing further damage and ensuring the safety of our community.

For more information and updates, please visit City of Sheldon.


Local News