Stress on Levees from Record Missouri River Flood

FLOOD: Rising water forces about 600 to evacuate in western Fremont County

About 600 people in western Fremont County in Iowa are being ordered to evacuate their homes, due to rising waters on the Missouri River.

Officials fear a federal levee on the Missouri River could be overtopped. The troublesome spot is located north of Hamburg, by the Nebraska City bridge, said Mike Crecelius, the county’s emergency management director.

Hamburg is not effected by the recent order. The levees constructed around that town are still holding, said Crecelius.

Much of Fremont County has been under a flood watch since April. The recent order covers much of the western third of the county and includes the communities of McPaul, Bartlett and Percival. In all, about 600 people are affected.

Crecelius says most of the people already have evacuated. But, he says, some are returning to their homes at night to sleep.

“The majority of those people voluntarily evacuated two and a half weeks ago. But now it’s a mandatory evacuation. No one is going to be out there period,” said Crecelius.

The flood waters near the federal levees reached 27.8 feet Wednesday. The levees were built to withstand about 28 feet.

Workers are sandbagging and doing everything they can to protect the levee, but at some point it will become too dangerous for workers to be on top of the water-saturated levee, said Crecelius.