Biker alert — Nebraska motorists are being encouraged to watch for heavier motorcycle traffic on state roads.
Interstate 29 flooding is likely to send a number of motorcyclists headed to Sturgis, S.D., through Nebraska this year.
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally draws thousands annually from around the country. This year's rally will be Aug. 8 to Aug. 14, but motorcycle traffic could pick up as soon as next week.
AAA is advising motorists to provide motorcyclists with the space they need to operate safely. Petro Gas Station in York will serve as a travel aid station the weekend before the rally. Water, sunscreen, neck coolers and tools for repairs will be provided.
WinnaVegas open: The WinnaVegas casino near Sloan, Iowa, has reopened, thanks to amphibious “duck boats” that are ferrying gamblers safely over the Missouri River floodwaters. The boats can hold more than two dozen people. Casino officials say the water is shallow enough over the casino access road that it's unlikely the vessels' propellers will be used. The service began Thursday as the casino reopened. Duck boat tickets cost $10, but passengers get $10 vouchers for gambling once they reach the casino. Woodbury County closed the road into the casino last month because of the flooding. That forced the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska to close the operation. A berm was built to protect the casino, which has become an island in a sea of floodwater.
Gate repair: Council Bluffs city crews repaired a leaking gate structure at the Avenue C storm water pumping station. The installation of a seepage blanket was completed Thursday west of the city’s wastewater treatment plant. Work has been started on the installation of 4,000 feet of barriers around the wastewater plant.
Schuyler protection — The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to build 5.6 miles of levees and some channel shaping near Schuyler, Neb., to protect the community from flooding.
The work would cost about $1.9 million and lessen the flood threat to to more than 760 buildings.
Northeast Schuyler has been flooded by Shell Creek. The Platte River and Lost Creek are a flood threat to southern Schuyler.
Two public meetings will be held Aug. 16. The meetings will be at the Oak Ballroom, 175 Higgins Drive in Schuyler. Information will be posted on the Omaha corps' website and placed at the Schuyler Public Library and City Hall.
Breach location clarified — Harrison County, Iowa, authorities clarified a report that a July 20 levee breach was along the Soldier River.
The breach actually occurred along the Missouri River, just upstream of river mile marker 664. The breach is approximately 80 feet wide, and water has stopped flowing it. Water levels on the dry side of the levee have stabilized.
Shelter — The American Red Cross will open a new shelter Friday in Council Bluffs to assist those affected by flooding.
The shelter will be at First Congregational United Church of Christ, 611 First Ave., and will open at 6 p.m. If there are no overnight guests by 11 p.m., the shelter will close and reopen at 8 a.m. the next morning.
The Red Cross will transition the shelter at Iowa School for the Deaf to standby status at noon Friday.
For help finding a shelter in the region, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Sandbagging — Council Bluffs is resuming sandbagging on Saturdays. Volunteers are sought from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at the Mid-America Center.
Sandbagging continues to be done on weekdays; volunteers will work from 8 a.m. to noon Friday.
Those interested in volunteering are asked to register by calling 712-325-4736. At the close of Wednesday's work session, the city's inventory of sandbags stood at 90,045.
Unsafe roads — The Iowa Department of Transportation is asking travelers not to move or drive around barricades on roads closed because of flooding.
Though floodwaters have begun to recede on some roads, they remain unsafe for travel. Some roadways will have missing segments, and others could have damage below the pavement surface or around bridges. Such damage can cause the road to collapse at any time.
Highway engineers will begin inspection work in the coming weeks.
For links to each of the highway agencies' websites and travel information phone numbers, visit iowadot.gov/floods/index.html.
— World-Herald staff writers Emily Nohr, Nancy Gaarder and Andrew J. Nelson, with the World-Herald News Service