Prolonged Repercussions from "Bomb Cyclone" Expected for Iowa
SIOUX CITY, Iowa — Gov. Kim Reynolds toured areas of western Iowa yesterday, where communities are struggling to recover from last week's "bomb cyclone" that caused massive flooding and raised rivers in 41 locations to new record levels, mainly in the Missouri Valley.
The system brought rain to already saturated and still frozen ground, overwhelming drainage systems and breaching levees along several rivers. Midwest Climate Hub director Dennis Todey said climate change means farmers are facing unpredictable challenges because such storms are becoming more frequent.
"That is a concern as we go along as to what our springs are going to look like on a more frequent basis - from a flooding perspective, but also from a soils perspective,” Todey said; “because when you have this kind of overland flow, you're losing a lot of your good soil."
The Army Corps of Engineers said outflows from Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River near Yankton, S.D., are dropping, but flooding downstream won't be over for some time. Several agri-businesses, including Cargill in Council Bluffs and Archer Daniels Midland in Columbus, Neb., have been shut down due to high water.
Todey said the timing of the storm couldn't have been worse because calving season is under way in the Midwest and stranded cattle without hay could be the next casualties.
"We'll have to wait and see what the overall damage is from a livestock standpoint - livestock that are in situations where they're trapped and they can't get anything to them or out,” he said.
Between Iowa and Nebraska, nearly 100 counties have declared a state of emergency. At least two people are known to have died as a result of the storms. And the American Red Cross continues to send disaster-relief volunteers to the area to help those affected by the floods.