Floodwaters force closure of several Iowa highways

March 14, 2019
Water rises on Avenue I at North 26th Street Wednesday, March 13, 2019, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Flooding forced evacuations in northeast Nebraska and western Iowa, including a retirement home in Pierce, Neb. Residents of Avoca, Iowa, were filling sandbags to keep floodwaters from spreading, and the American Red Cross set up a shelter for anyone who was displaced. (Chris Machian/Omaha World-Herald via AP)

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Floodwaters have forced Iowa officials to close several highways on the west side of the state.

Interstate 680 near Council Bluffs and a portion of Interstate 29 were reported closed early Thursday. The Iowa Transportation Department says a stretch of U.S. Highway 75 was covered by floodwater northeast of Sioux City, but a detour was operating.

An emergency shelter was opened in Council Bluffs because of flooding along Mosquito Creek, and sandbagging was underway in Avoca, where an emergency shelter was opened as the West Nishnabotna River continued to rise.

Residents of Missouri Valley were asked to evacuate after levees were breached.

More than 1.55 inches (3.9 centimeters) of rain was reported in Sioux City, where Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew listed 16 spots where floodwaters covered roads.

He told the Sioux City Journal , “There’s a big swath of water that’s got to go somewhere.”