Home News Update – KLEM News for Tuesday, June 25

Update – KLEM News for Tuesday, June 25

On June 24, 2024 around 3:40 P.M., the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call to a residence in the 15,000 block of Mesquite Ave.  Le Mars Fire and Rescue, Le Mars Police Department, and the Plymouth County Deputies responded to the scene.
The Plymouth County Deputies determined that Jeffrey Hanson, age 67 of Le Mars, Iowa was operating a John Deere X485 lawn tractor near a burn pit on the property.  The lawn tractor was being operated on the edge of the burn pit at which time it dropped off the edge and rolled into the burn pit where it overturned pinning the victim underneath the lawn tractor.  The victim sustained fatal injuries from the accident.
The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Le Mars Fire and Rescue, Le Mars PD, Plymouth County M.E. and Stockton Towing.


Late last night, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced that President Biden has approved Iowa’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for five northwest Iowa counties hard hit by floods.  Plymouth, Sioux, Lyon, Clay and Emmet Counties are now eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency and US Small Business Administration assistance.  In addition, the FEMA Public Assistance Program has been activated for the five counties, plus Buena Vista, Dickinson, O’Brien and Osceola counties.  This program provides funding for emergency work, such as debris removal and emergency protective measures.



Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds toured northwest Iowa communities affected by floodwaters Monday.

She first stopped in Hawarden.  The city lost its water and sewer plants and some 60 residents spent Sunday night in the shelter at the West Sioux High School.


Reynolds had department heads with her on the tour and says they are already discussing the housing problem.


Hawarden city administrator Gary Tucker says 190 homes in town had significant damage, and another 120 had moderate to minor damage,

100 businesses were also impacted.

Tucker said Monday about one-third of the community is still without power, and it could be some time before the waste water system is back online.


Tucker says volunteers should follow Hawarden’s Facebook page to keep up with opportunities to help.

The governor has requested a presidential disaster declaration, and Congressman Randy Feenstra is hopeful that will get done soon.


The governor also visited Rock Valley, Rock Rapids, Spencer and Cherokee.



There are 22 roads closed in Sioux County, due to washed out bridges or roadways.  The Sioux County Sheriffs Office is providing a link from their website which maps the closures.  About half of the closures are in the Rock River basin, on rural roads.  The rest are scattered across the eastern half of the county.  17 closures are because of bridges or culverts washed out due to flooding.  Others are roadways that have been rendered dangerous or impassable.  All are along and north of Iowa Highway 10.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are meeting this morning in regular session.  Under new business, the Supervisors will consider approval of the Plymouth County Flood/Disaster Declaration that was issued by chairman Don Kass on Sunday.

The county engineer will have several action items before the Supervisors, including a Detour Compensation agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation.  Two road projects and a bridge project are to be considered for approval.



Two Orange City residents were found dead in a residence at Lake Cornelia, near Clarion Iowa.  The Wright County Sheriff’s Office responded to the report on June 17.  They found the bodies of Dana Hayes Smith, 49 and Leona Anne Smith, 51.  Autopsy results indicate Dana died from a gunshot wound.  Leona’s death was by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wright County Sheriffs Office are continuing the investigation.  The Smiths are former Le Mars residents.



One person has died in the flood in Clay County, Iowa.  The Clay County Sheriff says Saturday they responded to a report of a pickup that was swept away by flood waters along the Little Sioux River on a county road a mile east of Spencer.  The vehicle’s single occupant was identified as William Schultze of Elburn, Illinois.  Emergency crews arrived on the scene, but a witness said the vehicle floated out of sight and disappeared.  Law enforcement and volunteers with boats searched the scene.  The pickup was found in the tree line, and it was determined the driver was deceased.  It was too dangerous to attempt a recovery until the flood subsided.  Schultze’s body was recovered Monday.  He had been reported missing in Illinois two days ago.



A group of Le Mars competitors who won a Bar Be Que contest last Saturday donated their winnings to area flood victims.  Allan De Vos and his team won the BBQ and Brew competition put on by the Iowa Pork Producers Association.  Big Al’s Smokin’ Good BBQ from Le Mars won first place in one category and placed second in another.  Their total winnings were 11-hundred dollars.  De Vos said Monday that they donated all the money to flood victims.  The pork producers association matched the donation to assist flood victims.