Record Flood at Le Mars


Record floodwaters isolated Le Mars for a time, and the city is just now starting to weigh the impact of the flood.

Le Mars had a crest of 29 feet, which was just below the record crest of 26.4 feet.

Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper said during their flood preparations, they discovered water would come in even higher than predicted.


At that point, crews moved quickly to protect key infrastructure.


Schipper gives an example of how fast flood waters rose Saturday.


All roads were closed in an out of Le Mars were closed late Saturday, and were reopened Sunday, as flood waters subsided.

Chief Schipper says there were no injuries, and most infrastructure such as the city waste treatment plant and airport facilities, held in place.

The city handled the emergency well.


Chief Schipper says city officials will meet to begin the work of assessing the damage, and begin initial discussions on future mitigation of floods.

Sunday, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Plymouth County, and nineteen others that are suffering from flood impacts.

Reynolds is asking President Biden to activate federal assistance for individuals as well as low interest Small Business Administration loans for businesses in nine counties. These counties include Plymouth, Sioux, O’Brien, Lyon, Osceola, Clay, Dickinson, Buena Vista and Emmet.

She’s also seeking federal help for local governments in 22 counties that are dealing with damage to public infrastructure and the cost of removing debris. These include Plymouth, the northern three tiers of counties in northwest Iowa, and Woodbury.

Governor Reynolds and Lt Governor Adam Gregg, a Hawarden native, will tour flood sites in northwest Iowa today.  They will meet with city officials and community leaders, beginning in Hawarden at 9-30, then Rock Valley, Rock Rapids, Spencer, and Cherokee.