Area Rivers Again Under Flash Flood Warning
(Le Mars) — Heavy rains have prompted the National Weather Service to again issue flood warnings for many of the same areas that have been inundated with flood waters in recent days. Flash flood warnings are issued for Sioux, O’Brien, Woodbury and Plymouth Counties. Reports are that some areas received up to five inches of rain within a few hours. The town of Rock
Valley is again evacuating many of the residents. Fire trucks from Hull, Sioux Center, and Rock Valley were used to transport the residents from their homes to a shelter. Authorities checked the depth of the Floyd River last evening at about 10:00 p.m. following the hard heavy rains. At that time, the Floyd River was still within its banks at 19 feet, however, officials believe
the Floyd will exceed its banks sometime this morning, as additional rain water from northern areas moves south.
Governor Reynolds Visits Rock Valley and Train Derailment Site
(Rock Valley) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, along with Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and Iowa Homeland Security Acting Director Joyce Flinn, toured the flooded town of Rock Valley on Saturday, then the governor visited the site of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailment. The governor told
reporters during an impromptu news conference that she is encouraged by the coordination efforts to clean up the oil that has been leaking from the derailed tanker rail cars.
Reynolds says the state’s National Guard is standing by, but, as of now, she doesn’t believe they will be needed for flood assistance or for the train derailment cleanup process. The governor offered an update as to the clean-up process.
The governor says she is pleased to know a condition update is shared with the community on a regular basis.
Governor Reynolds has declared several counties within the region as a disaster area. Iowa Homeland Security Council Acting Director Joyce Flinn weighed in on the state assistance to be made available for the flooded area.
Burlington Northern Santa Fe officials say at last estimate, 14 rail cars had been compromised during the derailment, and at least 230,000 gallons of crude oil has spilled into the field. Andy Williams is the spokesman for the rail company, and says several contractors have been hired to assist with the immediate clean up process.
The BNSF spokesman says environmental hazard workers have put in place skimmers and booms to hold the spilled oil from moving further downstream.
Williams says the entire clean up may take several days, and possibly weeks or months before it is completed.
Williams says the oil may have stretched a distance of up to five miles from the derailment site, before contractors arrived on scene to install skimmers and booms. The BNSF spokesman doesn’t have an estimate as to the cost for the total clean up.
School Board To Hear End of the Year Reports and To Review 10-Year Facilities Update
(Le Mars) — During tonight’s Le Mars Community Board of Education meeting, the school board will hear end of the year reports from both the Middle School principal, Steve Shanks, and from the elementary principals, Scott Parry and Patricia Krueger. The school board will also hear a report from teachers, Katie Majeres, Kim Rohrs, and Vicki Borchers regarding adoption of
textbooks for the elementary English Language Arts classes. The local school board will consider membership to the Iowa Association of School Boards for the 2018-2019 school year. School superintendent, Dr. Steve Webner will review with the school board the ten-year facility update plan. The board
will prioritize the district’s infrastructure, equipment, and facility
State Legislature’s Actions Limiting City and County’s Local Authority
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Republicans have moved aggressively to block city and county government actions since winning control of both legislative chambers two years ago. That’s left local officials frustrated but matches a
trend seen in other states with single-party control.
Legislators in Iowa last year overturned already-enacted minimum wage increases in three counties, and this year they passed a sweeping immigration enforcement law threatening local governments with the loss of funding if they refuse to comply with the new requirements.
A study earlier this year by the National League of Cities shows
state legislatures across the U.S. have expanded their restrictions on local control.
Alan Kemp, executive director of the Iowa League of Cities, says
one-size-fits-all approaches often have unintended consequences. He says legislators across the country are under more pressure to adopt statewide policies on a variety of issues.
Child Drowns At Des Moines Lake
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police say a child has died after being found in a Des Moines lake.
Officers and firefighters were called to Gray’s Lake on Saturday
evening after a 6-year-old child was reported missing. The girl had been playing with her family, who thought she might be in the water.
Police say firefighters started a search and quickly found the girl.
They tried to resuscitate the child and rushed her to a hospital, where she died.
Gray’s Lake is a popular recreation area just south of the city’s