COUNCIL BLUFFS — The drinking water in Council Bluffs is fine.
That was just one of the facts that city officials stressed on Tuesday as they tried to stop the flow of rumors about the rising waters on the Missouri River.
“Our drinking water is clean, it’s protected,” Fire Chief Alan Byers said.
The Council Bluffs Water Works even has a backup plan in case unexpected problems arise, he added.
“The water quality will be there,” added Art Hill, the city’s main spokesman.
Yes, there are sandbags being placed in certain areas, but mainly as a precaution, the officials said during a press conference near the river by Ameristar Casino.
“It’s a matter of being prepared,” Hill said.
Mayor Tom Hanafan added: “We are trying to get ahead of the curve. We are in the process of taking precautionary measures.”
One other rumor addressed: There are no planned evacuations at this time.
As of Tuesday, the river’s water level had reached 30.1 feet and was projected to climb to 32.2 feet on Saturday, he said. The water level should reach its peak, estimated at about 35 feet, between June 15 and 19. The levees are 41 feet high, Byers said.
Some of the precautionary measures being done include work by Public Works crews to raise portions of the levee along Mosquito Creek. Sandbags also are being placed along that creek and Indian Creek.
Sandbags are being placed around the city’s wastewater treatment plant and measures have been taken at the Council Bluffs Water Works to ensure ongoing water production and distribution.
Sandbags also have been placed along little-used railroad tracks that go through a levee. One of them is the track of the Illinois Central/Canadian National track on the west side of Big Lake Park.
City residents are urged to maintain a level of preparedness but to look for information from bona fide sources. People with questions should call 211 or 712-328-4672. Information is also available on the Council Bluffs website at councilbluffs-ia.gov.