SIDNEY, Iowa — The flooded roads in southwest Iowa have another hazard, for people trying to pass through the area. Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope said his department is seeing drivers try to take shortcuts, ignoring road closed signs.
“They do not pay attention they think the road signs are just a warning to them it’s not really true and they believe in their GPS systems,” said Aistrope. “They would take their GPS systems over a road close signs.
The Sheriff said that people are also impatient waiting in the sometimes heavy traffic on highway 275. The road is part of the way people detour eventually looking for I-29 south of St. Joseph MO. Also big trucks are on the road hauling rock to repair rails and roads. Grain trucks are also hauling grain from the area.
“There’s no point the best way to go is come down to Highway 34, go to 71, and go south that is the best way for people in this area to get to Kansas City or to the interstate,” said Aistrope.
The Sheriff said he expects this issue to keep going, as water is actually rising in parts of Fremont County.
“We’re going to do with us all summer, it’s not a quick fix for us,” said Aistrope. “We did it in ’11 and we did it last all year, so please drive safely.”
The Sheriff’s department does patrol towns which are evacuated. Percival and Bartlett both are still off-limits for residents due to high water in the towns, and covering roads leading to the towns. The water changes as the railroad builds up its track, making a higher dam for the water. The rail workers have been installing culverts to help the water drain.
“One day you can get there, and the next day you can’t,” said Aistrope. “It just depends on how this water has gone and where it’s flowing through that day.”
HAMBURG, Iowa- Residents and businesses in Hamburg are now free to begin cleaning up flood damage.
“In Hamburg yesterday the Mayor lifted the evacuation order for the south end of Hamburg allowing for people to go back into their homes and to continue to clean up,” said Mike Crecelius, Fremont County Emergency Manager. “You cannot go west of Hamburg, you cannot go west of Bluff Road in Fremont County, the Board of Supervisors has determined that area will remain under evacuation.”
Now homeowners and businesses could spend time removing flood debris.
“We moved here from Missouri so yes this is the first time I’ve experienced a flood of this magnitude,” said Jeremiah Tomlin, who moved into his home nine days before the flood. “Also it’s the first time I was actually a full-fledged homeowner.”
Also, water has risen in the towns of Percival and Bartlett, and also at the Sapp Brothers Truck Stop at Highway 2 and I-29. Part of the cause of the flood was rail crews repairing flooded rail beds, and creating a new dam
“Saturday when I called them to let them know that Percival was re-flooding, that the water was coming across 200th street there North of Percival, they ceased their operations of plugging their holes and working on the railroad, they started digging out back underneath the rails they’d filled in,” said Crecelius.
The Fremont County Emergency Manager said he appreciates all the help he’s gotten from State government, and from people in Iowa and around the nation. He’s not optimistic yet, as there is still snow melt to come downstream.
When you look at the fact that we have 55 breaches in the levee from Missouri Valley Iowa to St. Jo Missouri and 14 of them are in my county,” said Crecelius. “The Corps of Engineers has awarded the contract to repair the breach at Percival and also the breach in Hamburg.”