Missouri River

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Iowa saw the biggest daily increase of COVID-19 cases today and six additional deaths.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds reported 189 new cases for a total of 1,710.

Eighty-six of those new cases are tied to an outbreak at a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in southeast Iowa. A total of 186 workers there have tested positive so far.

The plant temporarily suspended operations last week and will continue to stay closed until at least next week.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says it still appears the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic won’t come until the end of the month.

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The future home of Lamb Arts Regional Theatre is now a local landmark.

The Sioux City Council approved the designation. 

Lamb is working to raise more than $11 million to restore the old city auditorium across from the Woodbury County Courthouse. 

The designation, approved yesterday, now allows the building to be eligible for historic preservation tax credits from the state.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors meeting has been canceled for today.  

That’s because there aren’t enough supervisors to hold a quorum of members.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers doesn't expect to eliminate from its reservoir system all the leftover water from last year's near-record runoff that led to massive flooding along the Missouri River. Officials are raising the current releases in expectation of high spring runoff again this year. The Corps told the Omaha World-Herald the system needs to make as much space as possible in light of forecasts for warmer than normal weather and higher than normal runoff. 

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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.

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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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Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer will speak in two campaign events on Wednesday.

Steyer has been vocal in his efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, and he is now making his first campaign stops in Northwest Iowa.

At 9 a.m., Steyer will speak at Hardline Coffee Co., in Sioux City, and at 12:45 p.m. at Better Day Coffee, in Storm Lake, Iowa.

The governor has announced the State of Iowa’s last fiscal year ended with a surplus of nearly $290 million.

Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler

A tense time for a family in west-central Iowa after their daughter disappeared last night.  

Authorities launched a massive search after the girl, who is three, got lost in her family’s cornfield.

Deputies and first responders from Crawford and Monona Counties descended on the farm north of Charter Oak.

Two hours later, the girl was found.    

On Facebook, Crawford County Sheriff Jim Steinkuehler posted a photo of the smiling toddler saying “in times of trouble communities do come together.”    

 

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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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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The amount of water flowing down the lower Missouri River this year is approaching the record set during the historic 2011 flood, and another round of flooding is expected this week after unusually heavy rains upstream.

Heavy rains dumped more than four times what is normal in parts of Montana, North and South Dakota, and Nebraska last week — triggering flood warnings.  The forecast for how much water will flow down the Missouri River has, in turn, jumped to 58 million acre-feet.

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Officials in one southwest Iowa county are advising people to consider evacuating. 

The Missouri River’s levels are rising, triggered by recent heavy rainfall in northerly states and dam releases upstream. Sheri Bowen (BOE-win) with Mills County says water is beginning to come back in through a levee breach in the southwest part of the county and is migrating north.

That standing water is only going to deepen. It’s not moving with any significant force right now. But it is moving and increasing a little bit. 

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Heavy rain has caused Flooding in southeastern South Dakota and closed schools for a second day today.  There were also some who had to evacuate their homes. 

Mitchell, Dell Rapids, and Madison received more than 7 inches of rain over two days

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will briefly reduce water releases from Gavins Point Dam this weekend, then increase them later next week. The goal is to evacuate record-setting rainfall that has fallen this month across much of the upper Missouri River basin.

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Flooding from the torrential rain that's soaked much of southeastern South Dakota closed schools for a second day today submerged city streets and caused some to evacuate their homes. In Brandon, northeast of Sioux Falls, the heavy rain turned the local golf course into a lake. Portions of the 18-hole course and an office at the clubhouse were flooded.

It’s been found that District Judge Tod Deck had no conflict of interest while presiding over Tran Walker's double-murder trial.   Walker's case will proceed to sentence, scheduled for Sept. 20 in Woodbury County District Court, according to the Sioux City Journal.  Walker was convicted for killing two companions.

A  religious activist accused of burning four LGBTQ children's books that he checked out of the Orange City Public Library has been convicted of criminal mischief and fined.

Sioux County Attorney Thomas Kunstle says Paul Robert Dorr, of Ocheyedan, was found guilty of the misdemeanor today and ordered to pay $125 in fines and court costs.

Dorr posted a video to Facebook in October in which he denounced the Orange City library for having the books and threw them into a burning barrel.

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State regulators vote tomorrow on rules that would allow sports betting in Iowa.  The legislature approved betting on college and professional sports earlier this year. If the guidelines are adopted by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, the first wagers could be made as soon as mid-August. Most of the rules cover casinos and companies that contract sports betting technology. The rules also tell casinos and race tracks to create designated areas for sports betting where people can register before placing bets in person or on mobile apps. 

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Omaha, Nebraska, says repair work on a levee breach near Hamburg, Iowa, has been completed.

The agency says the breach was one of four priority breaches to be closed in the wake of historic flooding along the Missouri River in March.  The Corps says more than 500 miles of levees on the Missouri, Platte, and Elkhorn rivers, as well as other tributaries, experienced significant flood damage this year.

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Despite earlier predictions of dry weather, rain and hail could threaten Sioux City-area Fourth of July celebrations tomorrow. 

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls says strong winds and hail are possible tomorrow night with thunderstorms possible in the afternoon. The Sioux City area could be in a "pattern" of thunderstorms over the next several days. 

The amount of water flowing into the lower Missouri River will remain high throughout the summer and fall, and that water will likely continue to exacerbate flooding downstream.

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The amount of water flowing into the lower Missouri River will remain high throughout the summer and fall, and that water will likely continue to exacerbate flooding downstream.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it plans to keep releases from Gavins Point Dam on the Nebraska-South Dakota border near current levels — which are more than double the average amount.

The high releases will likely continue worsening flooding downstream — in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas — where many levees were damaged during severe March flooding.

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High temperatures continue in Siouxland, up in the nineties today and down to the 80s by tomorrow.  There is a heat advisory in effect until 9:00 p.m. tonight. 

The high heat is causing the concrete to buckle on some stretches of northwest Iowa roads.

Troy Clouse, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, says he and his crews responded to five reports of pavement blowouts during the weekend in Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury counties. Clouse told the Sioux City Journal they are making temporary repairs.

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The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls has issued a heat advisory for Sioux City. The advisory is set to last through 8 p.m. this evening. Temperatures in Sioux City are expected to climb to 92 degrees this afternoon, with a heat index as high as 101 degrees, cooling off only slightly in the evening hours. The overnight low will be 71 degrees. 

Another heat advisory is set to take effect from 1 to 9 p.m. tomorrow when the heat index climbs even higher into the triple digits. 

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South Dakota-based Sanford Health today announced a planned merger with West Des Moines based UnityPoint Health. Unity Point has a hospital and clinic in Sioux City.  The transaction should be complete by the end of this year, pending regulatory reviews. The merger would make the company one of the 15 largest non-profit health systems in the country. 

Today marks the first day Iowa Total Care joins the state’s Medicaid system as a managed care organization. the company will be the state’s second MCO along with Amerigroup.

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