Snow and A Spring Storm Hit The Siouxland Area, Road Repair Continues, 12:06
Iowa and Nebraska transportation officials say they're hoping to have nearly all roads and bridges damaged in the wake of massive flooding repaired by midsummer, but note that wet weather this spring could hamper that effort.
Iowa Department of Transportation Director Mark Lowe and his Nebraska counterpart, held a news conference Thursday in Council Bluffs to update the public on damage in their states and how long it might take repair it all. In Iowa, the damage is concentrated in the west along Interstate 29, with the heaviest damage closest to the Missouri state line.
In all, Iowa had nearly 50 miles along the I-29 corridor that are damaged, nearly half of that categorized as severe, with damage estimates between $70 million to $90 million. In Nebraska, 180 miles of roadway and 27 bridges were damaged — 12 of which are still closed roads and bridge damage are estimated to be at $160 million.
A power spring storm system raking the Midwest has left thousands without power in northern Iowa and damaged some homes and businesses.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that nearly 19,000 Alliant Energy customers were without power by midday Thursday in the area, including the communities in and around Brit, Garner, Forest City, Mason City, and Northwood.
Heavy rain, hail and high winds gusting to 60 mph pummeled the area Wednesday night into Thursday.
The Iowa State Patrol reports that Interstate 35 northbound near Latimer was closed for a time Thursday morning after winds blew a semitrailer over.
A chance of rain through Thursday evening has been forecast, with the possibility of snow early Friday morning as the temperature drops into the high 20s.
The National Weather Service expects the area to return to spring temperatures Monday, with a high near 60 degrees.
The Nebraska Republican Party says a Jesuit college in Omaha should rescind its invitation asking former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerrey to speak at its commencement, citing his position on abortion.
The state party's executive director, Ryan Hamilton, released a statement Thursday saying that Creighton University should find a different commencement speaker and "take a stand for their pro-life values."
Hamilton says Kerrey voted against banning late-term abortions while in the Senate.
Kerrey, who served as Nebraska's governor, says he won't speak at the May 18 commencement ceremonies if his presence is a distraction.