GLENWOOD, Iowa — It started with a giant map showing most of the Missouri River valley flooding between the bluffs on the Nebraska side and the Loess Hills.
That's if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' worst-case scenario comes true.
The map was projected on a large screen overlooking the stage in the auditorium of Glenwood Community High School.
The splash of orange and yellow on the map was concentrated on Mills County. The various colors indicate most of the river valley in the county could flood from 4 feet to more than 10 feet if the Corps' worst-case scenario comes true.
Residents filled the high school auditorium Tuesday night to get their Missouri River flooding questions answered.
People were serious and attentive. Some took notes. The officials spoke for more than an hour and took questions.
Even if they weren't from the orange and yellow area, there was good reason to be here.
Ed Jacobson, 46, who lives in the Loess Hills across the river from Bellevue, did not expect his home to be directly affected by any possible flooding.
But things he depends on — the power to his home or the freeway he takes to work in Omaha — could be cut off because of the flood.
“It's crazy,” Jacobson said, looking at a map. “It's hard to believe it (the water) is going to be that far from the river.”
Randy Behm of the corps' Omaha District office was one of the primary speakers. He tried to put the maps in some perspective.
“This is larger than a 100-year flood event,” he said. “We don't know what's going to happen because it hasn't occurred.”
Those in the affected area need to be ready, he said. Flooding is expected to last for months.
“We're in for a long haul on this, and I want you to heed the advice and the warnings,” Behm said. “This is the worst-case scenario for what we are seeing. It could happen.”
One woman asked if flood insurance applied in this case because it was a “man-made” disaster.
Those with flood insurance were advised to check with their underwriters.
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