Levee breach: Authorities in Harrison County, Iowa, urged people to evacuate following a levee breach Saturday one mile south of mile marker 2 on Highway 30. The levee is near Casey Trail and west of Missouri Valley. The breach was about 100 yards long. Law officers contacted residents in the area and recommended they leave. An estimated 18 residences are within the evacuation warning, said Larry Oliver, Harrison County emergency director. Oliver said some homes were vacant, making it difficult to determine how many people were affected. Highway 30 remained open late Saturday afternoon, but the road was being closely monitored by authorities. If water covers the highway on the Iowa side, Nebraska will close its side of Highway 30, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency said.
Cellphone calls disrupted: Flood-related calls to the 211 information service have topped 2,000 since June 1. The 211 service remains available to Council Bluffs, Pottawattamie County, seven other southwest Iowa counties and all Nebraskans. However, there is a temporary disruption in three-digit cellphone dialing to 211 from Council Bluffs. That means residents there may have to call a 10-digit number to get the information they seek on flooding and other human service needs. That number is 402-444-6666. Experts are looking into the cell service disruption, said Kathy O’Hara, a United Way of the Midlands spokeswoman. Approximately 60 percent of the flood calls to 211 have come from residents of Pottawattamie County. The call center is also posting regular updates on flood relief at www.uwmidlands.org.
Mills County evacuees: Residents who evacuated last week because rising groundwater was covering roads will be allowed to re-enter their properties during daytime hours as road conditions allow. A Red Cross shelter for evacuees is open at East Mills High School in Malvern, Iowa.
Sandbagging help: Volunteers from Cass County's inmate population have filled nearly 10,000 sandbags to reinforce Plattsmouth facilities in danger of flooding, said Sheriff William Brueggemann.
Jail evacuation: Pottawattamie County has made arrangements to move jail inmates if necessary. Assistant County Attorney Maggie Reyes said if there is an emergency, inmates who have short-term sentences would be moved to the Harrison County Jail. More serious offenders awaiting trial on major felony charges or serving sentences would be sent to the Polk County Jail in Des Moines. If inmates go to Polk County, jail staff also would go as well as a judge and representatives from the County Attorney's Office. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said not every inmate would make the trip if flooding occurred. “We would release anybody in custody on a misdemeanor who is not a danger to anyone else,” he said. The number of inmates that would be moved is between 140 and 190, authorities said.
Reporting damage: Pottawattamie County residents are urged to report flood damage to private property that has occurred since May 24. Reports can be made at www.pottcounty.com; click on the “Damage Reporting Tool” link. Or call 712-328-4672; phones will be answered during normal business hours. Farmers should report only damage to their residence and personal property at this time. Assessments of agricultural damage will be made later. Submitting information does not guarantee that residents will qualify for financial assistance programs, but the information is needed for state and federal agencies to approve a disaster declaration that would authorize help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Help with sand boils: Mills County officials have requested additional help from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assess and repair an area of the levee system about three miles north of the Fremont County line. Repairs are expected to begin soon. The corps continues to repair multiple sand boils in an area about three miles south of Highway 370 and will work to repair erosion of the levee under the Bellevue Bridge. Residents can get updates on the flood fight from the Mills County Flood Center hotline at 211 or the website at www.millscoia.us.
— Sam Womack, with the World-Herald News Service