Iowa governor declares disaster amid record flooding in state

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) declared a disaster in Sioux County after the area was slammed with record-breaking flooding.

“I have issued a Disaster Proclamation for Sioux County and directed all available state resources to assist Rock Valley and other communities in northwest Iowa in response to catastrophic flooding,” she wrote on social media platform X.

She also said she has requested an expedited presidential disaster declaration and said more counties will be added to the disaster declaration. She also posted photos of her surveying the damage from a helicopter on Saturday.

“Rivers cresting above 1993 record levels and the devastation is widespread. I’m committing the full resources of the state & coordinating with fed. agencies to help Iowans recover,” she wrote.

The Des Moines Register reported that several days of heavy rainfall have led to record-high river levels in the state, especially in Rock Valley. The newspaper reported that there were 15 inches of upstream rain in 72 hours that resulted in the Rock River hitting a record depth of more than 27 feet.

The Des Moines Register reported that this depth was five feet more than the previous record, according to the National Water Prediction Service. The newspaper said a levee failed in the city, prompting evacuations north of Highway 18.

The Associated Press reported that sirens in Rock Valley, Iowa, blared at 2 a.m. on Saturday to warn people to get out of their homes due to the high levels of the Rock River. Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo said some stranded residents could be rescued by boats.

“We’ve had so much rain here,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “We had 4 inches last night in an hour and a half time. Our ground just cannot take anymore.”

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