Top Stories

Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.


PR: Missouri River Flooding, State Joint Information Update for June 30

By Press Release Reprints | 06.30.11 | 1:20 pm

TERRY BRANSTAD RELEASE — This updated provided by the Joint Information Center at the State Emergency Operations Center.

NEWLevee Breached in Fremont County Near Percival

A breach occurred this morning on Missouri River Federal Levee L-575 one mile north of Percival in Fremont County. Most of the area surrounding Percival, which is rural, had been evacuated. No other towns are expected to be impacted.

Due to the levee breach near Percival, the Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting that Interstate 29 from the Bartlett, Iowa, interchange (exit 24) south to the I-29/U.S. 136 interchange in Missouri is now closed due to flooding. National Guard personnel are also responding to assist Fremont County in ensuring citizens in the area impacted by the recent breach are out of harm’s way.

NEWGovernor Branstad Requests Agricultural Disaster Designation for Six Iowa Counties

On June 29 Governor Terry E. Branstad sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a Secretarial Disaster Designation for six Iowa counties due to damages caused by recent flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

“Iowa producers are sustaining flood damage to their crops, farm buildings and equipment,” said Governor Branstad. “Given the expected duration of this event, Iowa could see significant production and agricultural losses in counties along the Missouri River.”

Counties included in the disaster designation request are: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury.

The Governor’s request for the Secretarial Disaster Designation follows a review of agriculture damages conducted by the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

If granted, the Secretarial Designation will make disaster programs available to eligible applicants in the primary and contiguous counties.  These programs include the availability of low-interest FSA emergency loans and the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments (SURE) program, created in the 2008 Farm Bill.  Iowans are encouraged to contact their local FSA office for further information.

NEWCamping Fees, Time Limits Removed for Flood Victims

People who have been evacuated because of flooding along the Missouri River will be able to camp in certain areas of Iowa State Parks without having to pay a camping fee or having to leave after 14 consecutive days. Camping spots that are not part of the reservation system will be open to people evacuated from their homes on a first come, first serve basis.

Evacuees may call the DNR at 515-281-8004 to check on availability of campsites for long-term use.

NEWHeat Advisory Issued — Take Precautions to Protect Your Health

Much of Iowa is under a Heat Advisory today. All Iowans, especially those in flood-impacted counties who are performing strenuous outdoor work such as filling sandbags, are urged to take precautions.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has information and tips for protecting your health in hot weather. Learn more at

Residents Impacted by Missouri River Flooding Urged to Report Damages

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division is asking residents and businesses to begin estimating the amount of flood damage to their property. Damage information may be used to assist in the preparation of a request for federal disaster aid.

State Response Summary

  • Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD)

o   HSEMD continues to work closely with personnel from various local, state, federal, voluntary and faith-based organizations as well as private partners in response to flooding along the Missouri River in western Iowa.

o   The State Emergency Operations Center will be staffed as warranted to respond to requests from impacted counties.

o HSEMD has requested technical assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers for all counties along the Missouri River from Woodbury County south.

  • Iowa Commission on Volunteer Services

o   NEW – Americorps workers are receiving training today, June 30, before beginning a levee monitoring mission in Fremont County.

  • Iowa Department of Public Health (DPH)

o   DPH is continuing to conduct vector control/mosquito tracking.

o The Iowa Department of Public Health has issued information on the health-related dangers of flood waters, the emotional toll flooding can have, and healthy habits that are critical during stressful times. See this and other flood-related health information at:

  • Iowa Finance Authority (IFA)

o   IFA has developed a rental housing resource guide for individuals who are seeking long term housing due to flooding. Access the guide at: and select “Housing Resources.”

  • Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)

o   NEW – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey visited Mills and Fremont counties June 29 to view flood damages.

  • Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS)

o   The DHS Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) continues to distribute information and provide resources to flood-impacted residents who may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed. For additional information on resources provided by the DBHRT, visit

  • Iowa National Guard (NG)

o   NEW - National Guard personnel are also responding to assist Fremont County in ensuring citizens in the area impacted by the recent breach are out of harm’s way.

o   The NG is providing levee patrol support in Woodbury County.

o   National Guard liaisons are in place in all county EOCs.

  • Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT)

o NEW – The DOT began work June 29 on the installation of flood control barriers on Highway 30 between Missouri Valley IA and Blair, NE. The DOT also closed the Highway 137 bridge to Decatur, NE to begin mitigation measures due to scouring at the bridge embankment.

o   The DOT has made numerous road closures. For complete information on road closures, visit or, or call 5-1-1 or 1-800-288-1047.

o   Call center established for road closures: 1-866-452-8510

  • Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

o   NEW – DNR is opening Lewis and Clark State Park, near Onawa, for day use only beginning at 8 a.m. on July 1. The campground will remain closed.
NEW – DNR has waived camping fees and time limits for flood victims. See information on page 1.
NEW – DNR is closing state boat ramps on the Nishnabotna River due to high water levels.

o   DNR is restricting boats operating on Lake Manawa to no-wake speeds. The DNR said the restriction is intended to minimize the impact of high water to public and private structures and infrastructure around the lake.

o   DNR is providing technical assistance to waste water facilities, water supplies, industry, fuel stations, etc.

o   Weather-related park closure information is available at

  • Iowa Department of Corrections (DOC)

o   The DOC has had inmates assisting sandbagging efforts in Woodbury County.

o   In Mills County inmates will be filling sandbags and working on the levee system.

o   Inmates in Clarinda continue to fill sandbags that will remain on site at the facility until they are needed.

  • Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS)

o   The DPS continues to provide flight imagery of the affected counties.

o   The DPS continues to monitor roads, road closures and other public safety issues including assisting local law enforcement with security.



County Location Population
Monona 17 Homes 39
Harrison Modale 200-300 voluntary evacuation
Pottawattamie 143 homes in the county unknown
Mills June 23-mandatory evacuation notice issued for residences/businesses south of Gaston Ave. and west of I-29. unknown
Fremont Mandatory evacuation in effect in the South Hamburg area – between Hamburg and the Missouri River (south end of City of Hamburg)

June 22-Fremont County issued evacuation orders for all areas of the county west of I-29 from the north county line to the south county line.






County Location Population
Woodbury West Middle School, Sioux City, IA
3301 W. 19th St., Sioux City
Monona West Monona High School, Onawa, IA
1314 15th St., Onawa
Harrison Missouri Valley, Missouri Valley High School 605 E. Lincoln Highway, Missouri Valley OPEN 3
Pottawattamie Assembly Of God
3320 Harry Landgdon Blvd, Council Bluffs

Lakin Human Services Campus
915 North 16th St., Council Bluffs




Mills East Mills High School, Malvern Iowa 0
Fremont Sidney High School, Sidney, IA
2754 Knox Rd., Sidney

Shelters not designated as OPEN are on standby and ready to receive residents if needed.

County updates

  • Woodbury
    • The county is working with the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) regarding repairs to the ACOE road built earlier this month to access a sandbagged collector well head.
    • Inmates are providing sandbagging assistance.

  • Monona

o   The DNR and ACOE are working with local officials from the City of Onawa to determine possible effects of water backing up and heavy rainfall on creeks coming into the community.


  • Harrison
    • The DOT is working on Highway 30 west from Interstate 29 to install a flood barrier system.  The road will be closed until this work is completed and a detour has been established.
  • Pottawattamie
    • The ACOE is continuing work on installation of filter blankets on Council Bluffs levees.
    • The ACOE is continuing to work with the City of Council Bluffs to ensure stability of the levees.
    • The City of Council Bluffs issued an Alert Level One late June 22, urging citizens to make preparations to leave the area should the need arise.

  • Mills

o   The  ACOE  is working on levees L611 and L614.

o   Mills County issued a mandatory evacuation order on June 23 for citizens living west of I-29 from Gaston Ave. south to the Fremont County line. County officials said there is no imminent threat to the levee system, however, rural roads that would have to be used in an evacuation in the area are becoming impassable due to the rise in groundwater.


  • Fremont

o   AmeriCorps volunteers are receiving training at the Sidney High School from the ACOE so volunteers can take over the levee monitoring mission from the Iowa National Guard.

o   On June 22 Fremont County issued evacuation orders for all areas of the county west of Interstate 29 from the north county line to the south county line. The evacuation order was the result of deteriorating levees and additional expected releases from Gavins Point.



Donations and Volunteering

  • Donations of items such as clothing, food, furniture, etc, are NOT needed at this time. Unsolicited donations cause additional staffing and storage problems that local officials do not have the resources to manage.
  • If you want to help, cash is best. It doesn’t need to be sorted, stored or distributed, and cash allows the receiving voluntary agency to direct the donation to the most urgent needs. To donate cash, visit
  • If you wish to make a donation to a local organization, information on these funds can be found on the websites listed in the “County Updates” section of this release.
  • Those wishing to volunteer in a disaster-related capacity may sign up to do so at


Iowans along the Missouri River should be aware of the potential for disaster-related scams and price gouging. For information, visit the Iowa Attorney General’s website at:

For More Information

(Editor’s note: This release is being reprinted as a courtesy to our readers.)


Switch to our mobile site