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Noon Newscast 5.31.19

Iowa Department of Transportation

Authorities in Sioux City keeping a close watch on rising water levels.

Sioux City Fire Rescue says the most recent predications from the National Weather Service show a crest of 30.5 feet that’s a little bit higher than first thought.  That’s even higher than the flow from back in March.

The Iowa DOT did close a portion of Hamilton Boulevard at Interstate 29, and the southbound on-ramp and off-ramp to Interstate 29.

The Sioux City Public Boat Ramp is closed and access to Chris Larson Park from Hamilton Boulevard has been impacted.

Crews from the DOT and city are working to try and control the flow of water into the area from the storm sewer.  If they can contain the flow, pumps will be used to reopen the area.

Meanwhile, a post on Facebook says Jolly’s on the River is closed.  There’s a picture showing the area underwater.

Also, parts of Interstate 29 still closed in western Iowa, between Exit 61 I-680 (one mile south of Missouri Valley) to south of Omaha.  And from Pacific Junction all the way to the Missouri border according to the most recent information from the Iowa 511 website. 

There are several flood warnings in the region.  And, some new ones as well.  There is a flood warning for the West Fork of the Des Moines River at Estherville.  Also, in the warning Emmet, Palo Alto and Pocahontas counties.  The river near Estherville was at 12.6 feet or 4.6 feet above flood stage it should start falling tomorrow morning. 

There is also a flood warning for the Missouri River near Ponca and Decatur.  And, a flood warning will start tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for the Missouri at South Sioux City.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to increase releases of water Saturday from the Gavin's Point Dam into the Missouri River.

Corps is increasing releases because of water on the ground and runoff into the Oahe and Fort Randall reservoirs in South Dakota from recent rains.

He said the releases would increase by 5,000 cubic feet per second, to 75,000 cubic feet per second. The Corps also increased releases Wednesday.

The river has been high for months, and increased releases could lead to more flooding.

The National Weather Service has confirmed seven tornadoes hit Iowa as storms raked the state earlier this week.

All the twisters that hit Wednesday were weak, with winds under 95 mph.

The weather service confirmed an EF-1 tornado in Poweshiek County that injured a man and damaged a farmstead near Barnes City.

The other six confirmed tornadoes, all classified as EF-0, made brief touchdowns in several spots including Sac and Pocahontas counties.

No injuries and minimal damage was reported from those twisters.

The weakest confirmed Iowa tornado from Wednesday had wind speeds that topped out at 70 mph.

And, a big day tomorrow for the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City.   

Credit Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
New Consolidated Support Building at the 185th Refueling Wing

There is a ribbon cutting on the Air Guard’s new consolidated support facility.

Construction on the new $12.4 million dollar facility started in the fall of 2017.

The building will house the unit’s clinic, food services, communications and public affairs office and be used by full time employees of the Iowa Guard and on training weekends for about 500 people.

The new building replace two other buildings built in the 1960s and 70s.