Missouri River Flooding – State Joint Information Center Update

June 22, 2011

This update is provided by the Joint Information Center at the State Emergency Operations Center.

NOTE TO MEDIA:  The Joint Information Center Media Briefing Conference Call Will Now Be Held on Monday-Wednesday-Friday at 3:30 p.m.

Next call is scheduled for today, June 22, at 3:30 p.m.

Conference Call Dial-In Number – 1-800-645-8878

Conference Code: 003252

Note: Same conference call information to be used on each call

NEW:  Gavins Point to increase to 160,000 CFS.

The Army Corps of Engineers has announced the release rate from Gavins Point Dam will increase to 160,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) by Thursday as a result of continued wet weather throughout the Missouri River Basin.  This increased flow is expected to raise the river stage at Sioux City from 0.7 to 1 foot while areas from Council Bluffs south will see an increase of 0.3 to 0.4 feet.

State and local agencies are now working with this new data provided by the Army Corps and determining any new impacts that the increase river levels will have on homes and public infrastructure.

Read the Army Corps press release at:



Presidential Disaster Declaration Request
Status: Request has been processed by the FEMA Region VII office in Kansas City and sent to FEMA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

On June 18, Governor Branstad requested from President Obama a Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance for six Iowa counties. The six counties in the request are Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury.

The Governor made the request in response to the ongoing flooding along the Missouri River in Iowa.  Local and state agencies have been actively preparing for and responding to flooding conditions along the Missouri River since May 25, 2011.

A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits. Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.

Gov. Branstad is also asking for Direct Federal Assistance, to include sheltering, temporary housing and swift-water rescue teams if the need arises.

Scams Iowans along the Missouri River should be aware of the potential for disaster-related scams and price gouging. For information, visit the Iowa Attorney General’s website at: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.gov. Questions or complaints may be directed to the Attorney General’s consumer Protection Division, 888-777-4590 (toll-free outside of the Des Moines area) or 515-281-5926.

Special Needs Assistance Residents in potential flood areas who have special needs should contact local officials to request assistance and information. Residents in impacted areas are urged to look out for their neighbors with special needs and to help them get in touch with local officials.

State Response Summary

o   The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) continues to work closely with personnel from various local, state, federal, voluntary and faith-based organizations as well as and private partners in response to flooding along the Missouri River in Western Iowa.  The State Emergency Operations Center will be staffed as warranted to provide response to declared counties.

o   NEW:The state’s Incident Management Team will continue to assist in Council Bluffs through the weekend until Monday.

o   NEW:  Harrison County was provided 5,000 sandbags to assist at the water treatment facility at Pisgah.

o   NEW:  HSEMD is working multiple pump requests in several counties to address backup from rainfall and groundwater seepage.

  • DPH
o   Flood-Related Health Information
The Iowa Department of Public Health has issued new information on the health-related dangers of flood waters and the emotional toll flooding can have. See this and other flood-related health information at: www.idph.state.ia.us/EmergencyResponse/Flooding.aspx.


  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)
o   Working multiple issues, including flooded grain and the need for pet shelters.


  • Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)
o   IFA has developed a rental housing resource guide for individuals who are seeking long term housing due to flooding. Access the guide at: www.iowahomelandsecurity.org/disasters/disaster2011.html and select “Housing Resources.”
  • DHS
o   AmeriCorps is assisting the Disaster Behavioral Health Response Teams (DBHRT) in Council Bluffs where they are distributing evacuation plans and other information. The teams visited approximately 5,000 homes this past weekend. These teams are also active in other areas of the state.

o   Late last week, it was noted that approximately 50 percent of the homes visited in Council Bluffs by the crisis counseling teams were unaware there was flooding, or potential for flooding, in their neighborhood.  Citizens in impacted areas are being asked to reach out to their neighbors, friends and family to make sure they know of this potentially dangerous situation and to urge them to stay aware through local media outlets.


  • Iowa National Guard
o   NEW: The Iowa National Guard is providing levee patrol support in Fremont, Mills, Pottawattamie, and Woodbury counties.  AmeriCorps will be assisting on the mission in Fremont county.


  • DOT
o   NEW:  The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) has placed signs, barricades, fencing and other road closure devices at locations where roads, bridges and ramps are closed due to flooding in western Iowa, as well as other parts of the state. These traffic control devices are there for a reason, to protect the public.  View DOT’s press release at http://www.news.iowadot.gov/newsandinfo/2011/06/iowa-dot-warns-motorists-to-not-enter-closed-roadways-moriver.html

o   The Iowa Department of Transportation will be performing flood mitigation work along Interstate 29 near Blencoe beginning this week. The DOT will be placing a flood control barrier system along the inside and outside shoulders of both the north- and southbound lanes of I-29 in lower-lying areas in the vicinity of mileposts 107 and 109 north of Blencoe.

o   The northbound I-29 off-ramp at exit 149 (Sioux City-Hamilton Boulevard) is now open. The off-ramp at this location had been closed Monday evening due to flooding. The southbound I-29 interchange ramps at Hamilton Boulevard are also closed.

o   Motorists are urged to take extra precautions when traveling in areas where flooding is occurring or predicted, including using additional caution when traveling at night, devote full attention to driving and keep your focus on the road and not the water around you.

o   The Iowa Department of Transportation has made numerous road closures.  For complete information on road closures, visitwww.iowadot.gov/floods/index.html or www.511ia.org, or call 5-1-1 or 1-800-288-1047.

o   Call center established for road closures:  1-866-452-851

  • DNR
o   DNR is providing technical assistance to waste water facilities, water supplies, industry, fuel stations, etc. Conservation officers in Hamburg and Missouri Valley are in place for rescue missions, if needed.
  • DOC
o   The Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC) has crews filling sandbags at the Clarinda facility.
  • DPS
o   Continues to monitor roads, road closures and other public safety issues.



County Location Population
Woodbury South Sioux City, NE 2 homes, voluntary
Monona   Unknown, voluntary
Harrison Modale 200-300 voluntary evacuation
Pottawattamie 143 homes in the county unknown
Mills   unknown
Fremont Mandatory evacuation in effect in the South Hamburg area – between Hamburg and the Missouri River (south end of City of Hamburg) 300+


County Location Population
Woodbury West Middle School, Sioux City, IA
3301 W. 19th St., Sioux City (Standby Status)
Monona West Monona High School, Onawa, IA
1314 15th St., Onawa
Harrison Missouri Valley, Missouri Valley High School 605 E. Lincoln Highway, Missouri Valley 3
Pottawattamie Lakin Human Services Campus
915 North 16th St., Council Bluffs
Mills No shelters at this time  
Fremont Sidney High School, Sidney, IA
2754 Knox Rd., Sidney



Location Address Population
Fort Calhoun High School 1506 Lincoln Street Unknown
South Sioux City Middle School (Standby Status) 3625 G Street Unknown

County updates

  • Woodbury
  • Monona
o   http://www.mononacountypublichealth.org/


  • Harrison
  • Pottawattamie
  • Mills
o   http://www.millscoia.us/flood2011.htm


  • Fremont
o   http://www.co.fremont.ia.us/fremontcoemergencymanagement.htm

o   http://www.facebook.com/pages/2011-Fremont-County-IA-Flood-Support/232438310105233


Donations and Volunteering

  • Donations of items such as clothing, food, furniture, etc, are NOT needed at this time. Unsolicited donations cause additional staffing and storage problems that local officials do not have the resources to manage.
  • If you want to help, cash is best. It doesn’t need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and cash allows the receiving voluntary agency to direct the donation to the most urgent needs. To donate cash, visit www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/CashDonations/Default2.aspx?ST=Iowa
  • NEW:  If you wish to make a donation to a local organization, information on these funds can be found on the websites listed in the “County Updates” section of this release.
  • Those wishing to volunteer in a disaster-related capacity may sign up to do so at https://volunteer.truist.com/icovs/volunteer/register/.
For More Information