Update: Columbus Junction, Iowa flooding

flooding in columbus junction iowa evacuations have been ordered
Evacuations ordered around Columbus Junction, Iowa:

Authorities have ordered evacuations in Fredonia and parts of Columbus Junction and Columbus City as big water heads down the Iowa River.

The towns have sandbagged heavily. But Iowa Homeland Security spokesman Bret Voorhees says the evacuations were ordered this morning because the river is projected to be higher than earlier thought.

All of Fredonia’s roughly 250 people have been ordered out. A shelter has been set up northeast of town at Louisa Muscatine Middle School.

The evacuation in Columbus Junction and Columbus City is along the levee and low-lying areas downtown.

A water treatment plant in the area has been shut down as a precaution. Voorhees says authorities are working to make sure there’s enough drinking water for the towns.

Earlier today Columbus Junction City Councilman Hal Prior said there will be a “catastrophic failure” of the nearby levee within 24 hours.

A smaller levee breach was discovered about an hour ago in this southeast Iowa town, which is near the convergence of the Iowa and Cedar rivers in Louisa County. Crews have abandoned work on the levee.

City Councilman Hal Prior said if the levee breaks down, water will rush through the town’s main area. The city’s only gas station, a number of other businesses and a senior social center would be in the water’s path.

The National Guard sounded an alarm when the levee was breached and most helpers got out of the area. A few guard members are still watching over the levee.

Columbus Junction’s water plant was shut down as a precautionary measure, officials said. As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, no floodwater was inside the plant. A shelter has been set up for residents.

via the Des Moines Register

Aerial video of flooding in and around Des Moines, Iowa after the jump. (The video auto-plays…)

This video from the Des Moines Register shows flooding in and around Des Moines, Iowa.