Missouri River Flooding – Iowa State Joint Information Center Update

July 21, 2011

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



MEDIA CONFERENCE CALLS The next weekly media conference call will be held July 27 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 www.iowahomelandsecurity.org and select the 2011 Storms link.





Yesterday’s update incorrectly referenced “Project Recovery Iowa”as availablefor the 2011 floods. Project Recovery Iowa is only offered in counties affected by the 2010 floods (Polk, Warren, Story, Hamilton, Jasper, Marion and Wapello).

For the 2011 Missouri River Floods: the Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) is a trained team of volunteers who will respond to the mental health needs of Iowa residents following disasters and critical incidents. The team provides services for community providers based on local area needs and may be delivered at a disaster site in an affected community or statewide. For more information go to http://www.iowadbhrt.org/, or visit the Iowa Department of Human Services “Storm Help” website at http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/Consumers/Assistance_Programs/CashAssistance/DisasterAssistance/StormHelp.html.

All flood-affected individuals are still encouraged to contact the Iowa Concern Hotline at 1-800-447-1985. Callers can request assistance from either program and request an individual home visit with a counselor. Hotline operators are available 24/7 and are willing to assist wherever possible.


Dangerous Prolonged Heat This Week

Prolonged heat and humidity is forecasted to extend through this week. It is especially important for Iowans dealing with the impacts of recent disasters to take precautions to stay safe. The National Weather Service Des Moines has issued information on heat warnings and advisories, and also on heat safety. Learn more at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/.

For a list of ways to protect your health in high temperatures and humidity, view the Iowa Department of Public Health’s press release at http://www.idph.state.ia.us/IdphNews/Reader.aspx?id=3024FDD6-D9F3-4751-853C-05A42EA8D457.

For locations of cooling stations in your area, contact local officials.


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.
    • The Commission will participate in a volunteer management meeting in Harrison County tentatively scheduled for today to discuss Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) development and a volunteer reception center.
  • Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)
    • DHS is assisting with helping to train the AmeriCorps volunteers in Hamburg.
    • DHS is receiving calls from individuals regarding housing issues as most impacted counties have exhausted their local rental capabilities. Affected citizens who were behind on payments may be falling further behind due to flood closure of the businesses where they are employed.
    • DHS requested funding approval for the State Individual Assistance program from the Executive Council for three severe weather events, including the flooding in western Iowa.
    • The Iowa Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) continues to provide assistance in declared counties as requested and are attending town hall meetings, including an upcoming meeting in Nebraska City, NE for Iowa residents who have evacuated to Nebraska City. For additional information on resources provided by the DBHRT, visit http://www.iowadbhrt.org/.
  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
    • Last week the DNR Iowa Geological and Water Survey Bureau staff ran a series of resistivity tests on two sections of levees in Council Bluffs. After reviewing the information, the graphical representation of the data was sent to the ACOE on Monday.
    • DNR is coordinating technical assistance through the Environmental Protection Agency to work with all six counties in establishing collection sites for household hazardous waste. No deficiencies found in Woodbury County. EPA will be in Harrison County today and Pottawattamie County on Thursday.
    • 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.
    • DNR is providing technical assistance to waste water facilities, water supplies, industry, fuel stations, etc.
    • Weather-related park closure information is available at http://www.iowadnr.gov/parks/construction/weather.html
  • Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC)
    • Crews are working sandbagging the levee in Mills County.
    • Ongoing support of missions assigned. Continued coordination of inmate crews to assist with sandbagging operations as requested.
  • Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)
    • Continual monitoring and mitigation of impacted roadways.
    • The DOT 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.
  • 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)
    • Continual monitoring of impacts to agriculture sector.
  • Iowa Department of Public Health (DPH)
    • DPH will be putting together a general public information document on vaccinations after the flood waters recede.
    • Continued support in responding to public health concerns that have been raised in impacted counties.
    • Continual monitoring of the situation with this week’s added issue of high heat indices.
    • Working with FEMA on vector monitoring and control issues.
    • The Iowa Department of Public Health has posted flood-related health information at: www.idph.state.ia.us/EmergencyResponse/Flooding.aspx.
  • Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)
    • IFA is monitoring the rental concerns hotline and conducting follow-up on vacancies.
    • 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 www.IowaMortgageHelp.com.
    • 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.”
  • 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: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/topic/recovering-disasters.
    • 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
    • Monitoring situation and responding to any identified concerns.
  • Harrison
    • Monitoring situation and responding to any identified concerns.
    • COAD and volunteer reception center coordination meetings are tentatively scheduled for today.
    • http://www.harrisoncountyia.org/
  • Mills
    • A request was received for the Army Corps of Engineers to provide technical assistance for an area west of I-29 and south of Highway 34.
    • Two 16” pumps have been requested, but are on hold per the emergency management coordinator pending outcome of the technical assistance visit.
  • AmeriCorps has volunteers who have been tasked with providing assistance to Mills County and the local Public Health Administrator for the next several weeks.
  • http://www.millscoia.us/flood2011.htm
  • Monona
  • Pottawattamie
    • Pottawattamie County and the City of Council Bluffs worked with HSEMD to request additional HSECO barriers from the Army Corps of Engineers.
    • Monitoring situation and responding to any identified concerns.
    • The Incident Management Team (IMT) from Colorado arrived on Saturday to replace the state IMT.
    • Discussions are ongoing with the public schools to plan for alternatives should flooding disrupt the beginning of the school year.
    • http://www.pottcounty.com/departments-services/emergency-management/flooding.php
  • Woodbury
    • COAD coordination meetings are tentatively scheduled for Saturday.
    • Monitoring situation and responding to any identified concerns.
    • http://www.woodburyiowa.com/



  • 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
  • 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 www.volunteeriowa.org.

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.