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NEWS 8.2.22: Siouxland Heat Advisory

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The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for Siouxland through eight tonight. Heat index values of 100 to 105 are expected with the hottest readings for northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and far northeast Nebraska.

A post on social medial from the weather service office in Sioux Falls says “we're headed towards triple digit heat across the region by later this afternoon, so be sure to take extra precautions if spending time outdoors. Heat related illness can hit before you realize it's happening.”

Much of Iowa’s expected to roast in this week’s heat wave, which may end up lasting much longer, as it follows a very steamy July.

The state climatologist tells Radio Iowa the just-ended month was one-degree warmer than normal statewide and we had one-inch less of rainfall than the average. He says farmers are especially concerned about forecast models that show more of the same on the way.

The Climate Prediction Center shows the hot, dry trend will continue for Iowa during the month ahead.

Increasingly dry conditions in Iowa are impacting Iowa’s corn and soybeans.

The Iowa Crop and Weather report for the final week of July shows half of Iowa topsoil is short or very short of moisture. That’s a 12% increase from the previous week.

Drought conditions intensified in northwest Iowa last week and the condition of Iowa’s statewide corn crop fell slightly to 76 percent good or excellent, according to the USDA. That’s a four-point drop from the previous week. The report indicates the conditions of soybean fields statewide declined slightly as well.

A lack of rain is putting more stress on livestock and the USDA indicates less than half of Iowa pasture land for grazing is in good to excellent shape.

Mandatory water restrictions continue for the city of Storm Lake until further notice. The conservation efforts were put in place on July 1st. Residents at not allowed to water lawns and trees on Tuesday or Thursday. There are also restrictions on people washing their cars, filling, pools, or cleaning off driveways. The move is to make sure there is enough water for the season and for possible fires.

Information from the City of Storm Lake:

Mandatory water conservation in place for all water users

Mandatory water conservation in place for Storm Lake, Lake Creek, Lakeside, Truesdale, and outside users. The City of Storm Lake declared mandatory water conservation measures in July. They will remain in effect until further notice. The conservation measures are due to extreme hot and dry conditions during the season, and capacity limitations on wells, treatment system and storage. • Under the mandate, lawns and trees should not be watered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the highest recent usage days. Cars should not be washed at homes, pools filled or driveways washed down. • On other days, watering should be done before 9 a.m. or after 6 p.m. to avoid peak demand and reduce the water loss to evaporation. Avoid water running over sidewalks or into the street. • Flowers or vegetable gardens may be watered as needed, but the City asks residents to use a hose with a nozzle or a watering can to direct water where it is needed. • If a power washing project is necessary, contact City Hall at 732-8000 to schedule a non-peak time. The City appreciates the public’s cooperation with these measures, which will help ensure that there is an adequate supply throughout the season for residential needs and the necessary reserve for fire protection.

Fire crews battling a western Nebraska wildfire that has destroyed some homes are looking to the skies with hope and trepidation as weather forecasters warn of thunderstorms. The National Weather Service forecast a 50% chance of thunderstorms producing heavy rains Tuesday afternoon into the night. A storm could help douse the Carter Canyon Fire south of Gering that has scorched about 25 square miles of mostly grass and timberland. The fire has destroyed three homes and damaged several more in the Carter Canyon community that was evacuated Sunday. While fire crews would welcome rain, they fear lightning strikes that could spark new fires in the tinder-dry region. Firefighters had the fire about 30% contained going into Tuesday.

A celebration of life is planned tonight in Cedar Falls for the three family members murdered at Maquoketa Caves State Park on July 22.

Husband and wife Tyler Schmidt and Sarah Schmidt, both 42, and their six-year-old daughter Lula were shot to death in their tent while camping at the park. Their nine-year-old son was not injured.

Private family services and burials have already been held.

Authorities believe a 23-year-old man from the Omaha area killed the family before taking his own life. It appears the attack was a random act of violence.

Because of the heat National Night Out festivities have been cancelled by the Dakota City Fire Department. A post on social media says the event will be rescheduled.

National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie.

A spokesperson for the Sioux City Police Department says activities planned with the Sioux City Neighborhood Network as still a go for tonight. There are a half-dozen locations planning games, bounce house, and free food from six to eight.

News release from the City of Sioux City:

Sioux City Joins Cities Nationwide for National Night Out!

The Sioux City Neighborhood Network invites residents to celebrate National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. National Night Out is a local effort to promote neighborhood involvement in crime prevention activities, police- community partnerships, and neighborhood relationships and camaraderie.

From 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2nd, residents in neighborhoods throughout Sioux City and across the nation are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and representatives of City Police and Fire Departments as well as area agencies and organizations. The following Sioux City neighborhoods will be hosting events with FREE FOOD and other fun games, bounce houses, etc. (all from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. on August 2nd):

  •  Grandma Moos Park: 221 Cecelia Street Host: Greenville Project Area Committe
  •  Riverside Lutheran Church: 1817 Riverside Boulevard Host: Riverside Project Area Committee
  •  Cook Park: 505 Market Street Host: Westside Neighborhood Coalition
  • Dale Street Park: 1514 Dale Street Hosts: Jones Street Neighborhood and Rose Hill Neighborhood Coalition
  •  Latham Park: 1915 South Lemon Street Host: Morningside Lutheran Church
  •  St. Mark Lutheran Church: 5200 Glenn Avenue Host: St. Mark Lutheran Church

Federal authorities have dismissed a complaint against Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne involving her stock portfolio. WHO-Television in Des Moines reports the Committee on Ethics unanimously voted to dismiss a referral against Axne that was made by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Small towns used last week’s RAGBRAI as an opportunity to fundraise for town projects. The town of Nemaha raised nearly enough money to finish construction on its historical museum.

As one of the stops on Monday’s route, the northwest town nearly sold out of the 400 pounds of marinated turkey tenders prepared for the event. Organizer Jim Hamm says that effort earned them more than $8,000 toward furnishing the museum.

He says he was proud of what the town was able to accomplish.

“It felt good, it’s a good addition. But it's going to definitely make a big difference to have that added on to what we have. And this should come close to getting us done, I think.”

Tired as he was after the long day of selling to cyclists, Hamm says he’d do it again in a heartbeat. He hopes Nemaha gets another opportunity down the line to be on the route.

Until then, he’s looking forward to the museum’s grand opening in the next year or two.

Last week’s RAGBRAI was a chance for some small Iowa towns to raise money for community projects. The group Moms and Grandmas for Fonda used their stop along the route to fundraise for a new town basketball court. The northwest Iowa non-profit brought home around 600 dollars in pickle sandwich sales. Organizer Judy Hess says every little bit will help them reach their 30,000 dollar fundraising goal.

 “Just being able to bring in that amount of money in such a short time. It's great and getting to meet so many neat people. So, it was a fun day.”

Hess says she’s proud of how her community pulled together to make Fonda fun for cyclists. Her non-profit will continue to host events like cow bingo and a chili cook off in order to raise more money for the court.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.