Home News KLEM News for Saturday, June 22

KLEM News for Saturday, June 22


Parts of Plymouth County are preparing for flood waters, as rains of between 8 and 16 inches have fallen further north, across the two tiers of counties in northwest Iowa, and adjacent portions of Minnesota and South Dakota.

Today, Alton is coping with record floodwaters.  Iowa Highway 10 is closed from Highway 60.  to Jefferson Ave.  An RV park along the river at Highway 10, was evacuated earlier this morning.  Campers had just minutes to leave, as the Floyd River rapidly rose.  Homes north of the Highway 10 viaduct were also inundated this morning.  The city of Alton is asking residents to minimize their water use, as one of the city’s two lift stations was flooded.

South of Alton, Highway 60 is closed at mile marker 12, and also at Carnes, due to high water.

In Le Mars, Highway 60 north and US 75 north have been closed to traffic.

The full impact of flooding in Plymouth County won’t be seen until later today into tonight.

A Flood Warning has been called for Plymouth County until 1 pm today, and another flood warning from 10 pm tonight to 10 am Tuesday.  Flood waters will affect several rivers flowing through the county.  There is a flood warning along the Big Sioux River at Akron and Westfield, and a flood warning along the Floyd River at Le Mars, Merrill, and Sioux City.

Fire departments and volunteers at Akron and Hawarden are filling sandbags today in anticipation of the floodwaters downstream from Rock Valley.  Plymouth County Emergency Management also has sand and bags available at their Le Mars location for residents who wish to use them.

The community hardest hit by the floods is Rock Valley, where city officials have ordered the evacuation of all residences north of U.S. Highway 18. People were urged to head to Trinity Reformed Church for shelter.  The Iowa State Patrol has set up road blocks outside of Rock Valley. These road blocks are to stop any vehicles that are not Rock Valley residents.

Many Sioux County roads are covered with floodwater, and some bridges are out.

The combination of heavy rains in the Big Sioux and Rock River basins is starting to bear down on Hawarden.

First responders are evacuating residents there, and no traffic is being allowed into the city.  Hawarden utility officials are urging no unnecessary water use, as water lines are becoming contaminated.



This morning, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Sioux County in response to the severe weather and floods.  The proclamation allows state resources to used to respond to and recover from the effects of the severe weather.  This also activated the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program and Disaster Case Advocacy Program.



Two more cases of bird flu have been noted in dairy herds in Sioux County. There are now ten herds detected in northwest Iowa, eight of them in Sioux County.  This comes a day after a commercial turkey operation in Sac County reported bird flu. The U-S-D-A detected the disease at a commercial turkey flock with more than 46-thousand birds in Sac County. All of the birds will have to be destroyed.



The Iowa trucker who went missing and was later found dead on a farm in rural Sac County died from hypothermia related to acute meth intoxication. The report cites a death certificate for David Schultz, which indicates he ingested the drug, then died when he was exposed to the cold temperatures outside. Schultz went missing in November 2023, sparking a massive search effort. His body was found in April 2024 close to the location his truck was found.



The PlyWood Trail Foundation will hold a ribbon cutting to mark the opening of Phase 1 of the trail.  The event will be Friday, June 28, in Merrill.  Phase one of the trail extends from the Le Mars city limits to Merrill.  Attendees are urged to bring your bike or your walking shoes to be the first to try out the trail.  Other phases of the PlyWood project will extend from Merrill to Hinton, and from Hinton to Sioux City.  That phase is nearing a contract letting for construction.  It will extend from 46th St in Sioux City, north to Titan Road in Hinton.  The project is aided by a 7.2 million dollar Vision Iowa Grant.