Northwest Iowa Faces Flooding, Evacuations After Heavy Rains

Northwest Iowa — There are flood warnings issued in northwest Iowa as water levels continue to rise. Rock Valley Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo is closely monitoring the Rock River that runs north of town. It reached record levels during devastating flooding ten years ago, and it’s at those same levels again.

The projection was for a crest at about 23 and a half feet, about a foot higher than the record, but overnight the level was at about 24 and a half feet and still rising.

During the past several years, Rock Valley built berms to protect property and people. Sandbagging is underway not only in Rock Valley but other communities in nearby Lyon and Plymouth counties. Van Otterloo says evacuations have been ordered.

About 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Rock Valley officials set off the sirens in Rock Valley, meaning if people were in the evacuation zone to evacuate their houses if able. Upstream at Rock Rapids, emergency crews evacuated several homes in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

The Faith Reformed and Trinity Reformed churches in Rock Valley are serving as a shelter in that community and the Central Lyon Elementary Gym is serving as a shelter in Rock Rapids.

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