Office of the Governor of Iowa

Governor Branstad

Missouri River Flooding – Iowa State Joint Information Center Update

July 29, 2011

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



The next weekly media conference call will be held Aug. 3 at 3:30 p.m.

  • Conference Call Dial-In Number – 1-800-645-8878
  • Conference Code: 003252

Same conference call information to be used on each call.

Please Note: For updates and information on the July 10-11 severe storms in Benton, Marshall, Story and Tama counties, visit and select the 2011 Storms link.




Stay Aware, Be Prepared

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) reminds Iowans that flooding along the Missouri River is continuing, and river levels are projected to remain high for many more weeks. It is important that residents in threatened areas remain prepared in case conditions change. Keeping a bag packed with essential items and establishing a family evacuation plan will help Iowans be ready to evacuate if an order is given.



The shelter at the Iowa School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs has been reopened and will remain active for the next two weeks. Numerous shelters remain on standby and are ready to receive residents if needed.




  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD)
    • HSEMD continues to work closely with personnel from various local, state, federal, voluntary and faith-based organizations as well as private partners in response to flooding along the Missouri River in western Iowa.
    • HSEMD staff continues to field calls and provide assistance on a 24-hour basis to local emergency management officials.
    • The State Emergency Operations Center will be staffed as warranted to respond to requests from impacted counties.


  • Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service
    • Ongoing support of missions assigned, including access to volunteer and AmeriCorps resources.
    • AmeriCorps has sent three volunteers to Mills County to assist with disaster data collection.
    • AmeriCorps volunteers are continuing their mission patrolling the levees in Fremont County.


  • Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
    • The Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) has been asked to provide support during school registration in Harrison, Mills, Fremont and Pottawattamie Counties.
    • The DBHRT continues to provide assistance in declared counties as requested. For additional information on resources provided by the DBHRT, visit


  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
    • NEW – Counties have contacted the DNR about keeping some temporary levees constructed during the flooding in place as post-flood permanent structures. DNR is reviewing the regulations surrounding the structures as well as the application process so they are prepared for upcoming requests and applications.
    • NEW – DNR continues to monitor the integrity of pipelines that may be impacted by high flows and scouring. DNR is coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Geological Survey on this issue.
    • NEW – EPA is working to locate boom material. Once secured, the boom will be moved to a regional location so it can be easily dispatched in the event of a large hazardous materials release on/along the Missouri River.
    • People who have been evacuated because of flooding along the Missouri River will be able to camp in certain areas of Iowa State Parks without having to pay a camping fee or having to move after 14 consecutive days. Evacuees may call the DNR at 515-281-8004 to check on availability of campsites for long-term use.
    • Weather-related park closure information is available at


  • Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC)
    • Ongoing support of missions assigned. Continued coordination of inmate crews to assist with sandbagging operations as requested.


  • Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • NEW – Work continues piling limestone along Highway 175 (Decatur City bridge) and making improvements to the road. Most operations are at a standstill until the water goes down. As soon as possible they will begin letting debris cleanup contracts.
    • Continual monitoring and mitigation of impacted roadways.
    • The DOT has made numerous road closures. For complete information on road closures, visit or, or call 5-1-1 or 1-800-288-1047.


  • Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS)
    • The DPS continues to provide aerial photography of impacts to affected counties.
    • The DPS continues to monitor roads, road closures and other public safety issues.


  • Iowa National Guard (NG)
    • Ongoing support of missions assigned.


  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)
    • NEW – The State Veterinarian is working with the DNR on the disposal of livestock that died in the heat.
    • Continual monitoring of impacts to agriculture sector.


  • Iowa Department of Public Health (DPH)
    • Continued support in responding to public health concerns that have been raised in impacted counties.
    • The Iowa Department of Public Health has posted flood-related health information at:
    • Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)
      • NEW – IFA staff is monitoring the rental concerns hotline and conducting follow-up on vacancies. Staff reports that many of the property managers don’t understand why they’re being contacted as they believe the flood threat has passed.
      • Foreclosure prevention counseling: Disaster-impacted homeowners that feel they may begin to struggle with their mortgage payment are encouraged to call Iowa Mortgage Help for free, confidential mortgage counseling. Iowa Mortgage Help does not offer direct financial assistance. For more information, call 877-622-4866 (if calling from Iowa) or 515-331-8081 (if calling from outside of Iowa), or visit the website at
      • IFA has developed a rental housing resource guide for individuals who are seeking long term housing due to flooding. Access the guide at: and select “Housing Resources.”


  • Iowa State University Extension
    • ISU Extension has compiled a list of resources on dealing with stress, flood clean up, financial concerns, tips for businesses, crops, and livestock to help Iowans prepare for and recover from floods. Access these resources at:
    • County Extension personnel in flood-impacted counties are responding to concerns.
    • ISU Extension has the Iowa Concern Hotline, 800-447-1985, that Iowans can call for help and referrals for dealing with stress, crisis and loss in times of disaster.




  • Fremont
    • Due to deterioration of the plastic sheeting on Ditch 6, plans are underway to replace this plastic to provide ongoing protection of the structure.


  • Harrison
    • County provided clarification regarding a July 20 levee breach that was reported to be along the Soldier River. This breach actually occurred along the Missouri River just upstream of river mile marker 664. The breach is approximately 80 feet wide and the water has stopped flowing though the breach. Water levels on the dry side of the levee have stabilized.


  • Mills
  • New information shows there could be impact to Highway 34 based on the overtopping of an agricultural levee to the north. HSEMD will provide a 12” pump to the area of concern.
  • AmeriCorps has volunteers who have been tasked with providing assistance to Mills County and the local Public Health Administrator for the next several weeks.


  • Monona


  • Pottawattamie
    • NEW Iowa School for the Deaf was reopened as a shelter and will be open regardless of population for the next two weeks.
    • Colorado Incident Management Team (IMT) will demobilize on July 30, 2011. Incident Command Post is currently working on schedule to identify additional positions that may need support from Iowa IMT in the coming weeks and has requested an Iowa IMT liaison officer.
    • Monitoring situation and responding to any identified concerns.





  • 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
  • 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


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: