flooding

The Iowa Department of Public Health reporting 73 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 497.

Fifty-seven counties have confirmed cases including the first case in Clay County.  There were two more confirmed in Sioux County for a total of 15 in Siouxland.

Testing is still quite limited in the state, so the actual number of cases is likely much bigger and more widespread.

One more Iowan has died from the novel coronavirus, the seventh death in the state.

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Republican senators from four states that have seen severe flooding from the Missouri River are backing legislation that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change its management of the river to reduce flood risk. 

The proposal would require the Corps to take steps to reduce flood risks along the lower Missouri River by changing the way it manages the dams and by strengthening levees along the river.

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A massive fire last night killed more than 400,000 chickens at a poultry plant outside of Bloomfield, Nebraska.

Michael Foods operates the facility that produces eggs.  No employees got hurt but the fire destroyed a barn.

The National Weather service says the flames were so intense their weather satellite detected the heat more than 22,000 miles above the Earth.

Bloomfield is about 75 miles northwest of Sioux City in Knox County.

The National Weather Service has released the first of its three spring flood forecasts.

David Pearson is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Omaha. He says the outlook is “grim” for western Iowans who live along the Missouri River below Sioux City. The soil in the Missouri River basin is saturated.

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Iowa Democratic Party officials say they are hiring two high-profile lawyers to investigate the factors leading to a meltdown in the state's lead-off presidential caucuses and how the party responded. 

The party's State Central Committee voted last night to spend up to $50,000 to retain Nick Klinefeldt, a former U.S. attorney, and Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general. 

Democratic Presidential Candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders Edit | Remove

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Bernie Sanders’ campaign is asking for a “partial recanvass” of the results of last week’s Iowa caucuses.

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Governor Pete Rickets, said Nebraskans showed the world what it truly means to be Nebraska Strong, in his State of the State address this morning in Lincoln.

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“Nebraskans not only rescued stranded neighbors, but they also sandbagged levees, donated hay and supplies, delivered hot meals, and raised money for those who had lost everything.”

A federal report released today says Nebraska suffered more than $3.4 billion in losses from disastrous weather last year while the toll was $1.9 billion in Iowa.

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An Iowa law allowing people to use lethal force to defend themselves doesn’t apply to defendants who engaged in criminal activity prior to the perceived threat, the state Supreme Court ruled today.

The ruling reverses an Iowa Court of Appeals’ order in May issuing a new trial to Miguel Angel Lorenzo Baltazar, 21, of Des Moines. He is serving life in prison for the July 2017 shooting death of 23-year-old Jeffrey Mercado. Baltazar maintains he feared Mercado had a weapon and was acting in self-defense under the state’s Stand Your Ground law.

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Hundreds of containers, many carrying hazardous materials, have floated into Missouri since flooding in the upper Missouri River basin during the spring. A Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials says the agency collected more than 740 containers this year. Many are believed to be from Nebraska and Iowa. The containers range from small buckets to 500,000-gallon tanks. Many contain diesel fuel, pesticides or ammonia.

Eight months after flooding began along the lower Missouri River, the amount of water being released from dams upriver will start to be reduced later this month.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the amount of water being released from the Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border will start to gradually be reduced on Nov. 23 as part of its plan to cut releases for winter.

The river has remained high ever since the spring flooding because the amount of rain and melting snow flowing into the river was near record levels this year.

Siouxland Public Media

A district court judge has rejected a request by former Gov. Terry Branstad’s lawyers to set aside a jury verdict that concluded Branstad discriminated against a former state official because he’s gay.

The ruling  rejects dozens of arguments, including challenges to legal rulings during trial and jury instructions.

Branstad’s attorneys asked the judge to set aside the July 15 jury verdict of $1.5 million awarded to former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey.

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Iowa gamblers are getting the hang of legalized sports betting since it started in mid-August.

Data from the state Racing and Gaming Commission indicates Iowans placed $47.1 million in bets during the first six weeks since the state authorized it. Of that total, $21.6 million in bets were made through casinos and $25.46 million were made online.

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The Trump administration announced today it plans to implement new rules that will increase demand for ethanol, reversing a decline caused by exemptions given to oil refineries.

The proposal follows months of complaints by Midwest farmers, politicians and the ethanol industry that the federal government's granting of waivers to refiners had violated federal law and forced some ethanol plants to close.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has reopened a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 29 in western Iowa, after flooding closed it late last month.

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The Trump administration announced today it plans to implement new rules that will increase demand for ethanol, reversing a decline caused by exemptions given to oil refineries.

The proposal follows months of complaints by Midwest farmers, politicians and the ethanol industry that the federal government's granting of waivers to refiners had violated federal law and forced some ethanol plants to close.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has reopened a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 29 in western Iowa, after flooding closed it late last month.

Henderson served as chaplain for area first responders and senior pastor at St. Paul's Lutheran Church
Fort Dodge Police Department

  

The initial appearance for a man charged with killing a pastor in Fort Dodge has been pushed back until tomorrow.

Thirty-six year old Joshua Pendleton was charged with robbery and first-degree murder for the death of Rev. Allen Henderson.

Officers found Henderson at St. Paul Lutheran Church.  He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Fort Dodge.

Television station WHO-TV in Des Moines posted video this morning showing the suspect, Joshua Pendleton getting angry and pounding his fist on a nearby desk.      

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A Polk County judge has ruled the state of Iowa can require voters to show an ID at the polls but struck down other parts of the 2017 voting law as unconstitutional.

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A Polk County judge has ruled the state can require voters to show an ID at the polls, but he struck down other voting law changes dealing with absentee ballots. 

The League of United Latin American Citizens and an Iowa State University student challenged sweeping voting law changes passed by Republican lawmakers in 2017.

They argued the voter ID requirement could prevent young, elderly, poor, and people of color from voting because these groups are less likely to have driver’s licenses and other forms of ID.

Iowa Public Radio/Katie Peikes

A community in northwest Iowa is using state flood recovery money to build a berm around town in hopes it will protect people from future flooding.

At a meeting last night, Mayor Scott Mitchell of Hornick announced the town of 220 people got close to $2.1 million dollars from the state’s flood recovery fund.

"So there’s a lot more to go, but the big step’s made. We got our money. We’re going to have a big ol’ berm around Hornick. You guys all don’t know how happy I am, you really don’t”

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Water levels continue to slowly recede on the Missouri River and Big Sioux River, easing flooding worries in the region.

Union County Emergency Manager Andy Minihan said Monday that agencies are watching levees along rivers. Many levees over a 350-mile stretch remain damaged from severe flooding in the spring, allowing the floodwaters to flow into many farm fields and rural areas.

Tonight, a special event is being held to educate the community about the dangers of social media.   

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Water levels continue to slowly recede on the Missouri River and Big Sioux River, easing flooding worries in the region.

Union County Emergency Manager Andy Minihan said Monday that agencies are watching levees along rivers. 

A southeastern South Dakota school district is installing vape sensors in bathrooms to combat students' use of e-cigarettes that have been linked to hundreds of cases of lung disease nationwide.

 

Water levels continue to slowly recede on the Missouri River and Big Sioux River, easing flooding worries in the region. The Union County Emergency Manager said today that agencies are watching levees along rivers. The Associated Press reported five days ago the lower Missouri River was flooding in Nebraska and Iowa, following recent exceptionally heavy rains in Montana, North and South Dakota and Nebraska.

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Sports betting in person began today at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Sioux City.  

State regulators approved the Casino's new sportsbook, last month it didn’t start taking its first bets on professional and college sports until today. Betting online or via app won’t be available until mid October.  Sioux City State representative Jacob Bossman voted to legalize sports betting.  He was at the Hard Rock today.  Bossman says sports betting was happening already without any regulation.

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Floodwater from the Missouri River has forced officials to close a portion of Interstate 29 in western Iowa.

The Iowa Transportation Department said Friday the 10-mile stretch extends north from the Crescent exit to the Missouri Valley area. A detour is in operation. Several I-29 interchange ramps are closed in southwest Iowa as well.

The river continues to rise and flood mostly rural land in Nebraska and Iowa and is expected to crest Saturday near Omaha.

Officials in western Iowa are watching the rising Missouri River. Water breached a levee in Pottawattamie County last night (Wednesday evening). This is the third protective structure in the area to breach due to the Missouri River’s third round of flooding this year.

Officials estimate about 40 homes are in the affected area. The county has sent out emergency alerts to people. Scott Manz (MAN-z) is an emergency management specialist with the county. 

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Officials in western Iowa are watching the rising Missouri River. Water breached a levee in Pottawattamie County last night (Wednesday evening). This is the third protective structure in the area to breach due to the Missouri River’s third round of flooding this year.

Officials estimate about 40 homes are in the affected area. The county has sent out emergency alerts to people. Scott Manz (MAN-z) is an emergency management specialist with the county. 

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Water began creeping over county roads and flowing through already-broken levees in parts of western Iowa on Wednesday as the Missouri River rose.

Interstate 29 north of Council Bluffs remained open to traffic Thursday morning. The Iowa Department of Transportation reported some ramp closures west of Crescent, Iowa, on Interstate 680 and on I-29.

Iowa DOT

The Missouri River continues to rise and flood mostly rural land in Nebraska and Iowa, but Interstate 29 remains open near Omaha.

The Iowa DOT expects to close parts of the interstate at some point during this week's flooding. The river is expected to crest Friday morning near Omaha.

The highway remained open Thursday morning although several onramps were closed in southwest Iowa.

The lower Missouri River is flooding in Nebraska and Iowa this week because exceptionally heavy rains fell last week in Montana, North and South Dakota and Nebraska.

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The U.S. Coast Guard and Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday issued a no-wake advisory for boaters on the Missouri River from mile marker 750 (at Sioux City) through mile marker 498 (at Rulo, Nebraska).  The advisory is intended to protect river infrastructure amid ongoing high river levels. 

The Missouri River is rising and is expected to crest later this week in western Iowa. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been working on repairing some levee breaches and protecting some recent breach repairs, hoping to prevent future flooding.

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