Mills County issued a mandatory evacuation order Thursday for residents in part of the county.
The evacuation area extends west of Interstate 29 and south of Gaston Avenue to the Fremont County line. Officials estimate about 80 residences are affected, though some people had already left their homes.
There are no immediate threats to the levee system in Mills County, said officials with the Mills County Board and Mills County Emergency Management. The Iowa Army National Guard, levee and drainage district staff and emergency management personnel are patrolling the levee.
But rising groundwater east of the Mills County levee system is making some roads in the area impassable.
“The safety of the residents in those areas is our greatest concern, and we needed to take action,” said Sheri Bowen, public information officer for Mills County Emergency Management.
Roads closed by water include 195th Street south of U.S. Highway 34, Kane Avenue west of 190th Street, Karnes Road and Nims Road. Southbound Kane Avenue at 190th is closed because of railroad construction.
“We've been watching those particular roads closely for several days,” Bowen said, “and we had a significant change in those roads from Wednesday to Thursday.”
Residents in the evacuation area are required to leave no later than 4 p.m. Friday.
A Red Cross shelter has been established at East Mills High School in Malvern. Residents who need assistance with evacuation can contact the Mills County Communication Center, 712-527-4871, or Mills County Public Health, 712-527-4231.
A copy of the evacuation order and evacuation routes was being hand-delivered to each residence in the affected area.
Local officials will begin shutting off utilities in the mandatory evacuation area at 4 p.m. on Friday. Individual homeowners also can request utility shutoff by contacting their utility company.
Additional information on road closures is available at the Mills County website.
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Video from Mills County: