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Flooding continues across Iowa: safety and cleanup reminders to help with recovery

  • 6/27/2024 11:28:00 AM
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DES MOINES — While some parts of Iowa continue to experience high and rising flood waters, other communities are in recovery and clean-up mode. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) encourages people to put safety first and avoid flood waters until after they recede.

Many rivers and lakes in Iowa are unsafe for swimming or boating due to fast currents, floating debris, hidden obstacles, and the potential of bacteria. Boaters and paddlers should plan ahead as additional areas may become unsafe as flood waters move downstream.

State Park Impacts

Several Iowa state parks have alerts and closures due to high waters, including:

  • Dolliver Memorial State Park – the entire park is closed due to the Des Moines River flooding.
  • Fairport State Recreation Area – the campground and boat ramp are closed due to high water on the Mississippi River.
  • Fort Defiance State Park – trails are closed due to flood debris and damage to bridges.
  • George Wyth State Park – the entire park is closed due to high water.
  • Great Lakes area – several state park beaches, docks and ramps are still underwater. Gull Point park and campground are closed. Existing campground reservations at Emerson Bay, Elinor Bedell, and Marble Beach are being honored, but new reservations or walk-in camping are unavailable through at least July 7. All other parks in the region remain open but caution is advised.
  • Lake Manawa State Park – the park is open but Catfish Road is closed due to high water.
  • Ledges State Park – the park is open but the Canyon Road, Lower Ledges Road, the Des Moines River boat ramp and Flood Pole parking lot are closed. 
  • Stone State Park – the west entrance is currently closed while park staff clean up debris left behind by receding floodwaters. The east entrance is open.
  • Wilson Island State Recreation Area – the park is closed due to Missouri River flooding.

For latest updates, visit the DNR’s state park alerts and closure web page.

 

Recovery Assistance and Clean Up

For recovery assistance, visit Iowa Homeland Security’s disaster recovery web page or local emergency management teams, which should have resources to help with immediate needs. 

The Iowa DNR provides disaster assistance on debris management and other environmental impacts to communities, businesses and citizens. Visit DNR’s disaster recovery web page for information. Some important considerations:

 

Private Well Testing

Homeowners with private wells impacted by floodwaters can visit the DNR’s private well flood information web page for information on testing.

 

Debris and Hazardous Materials

Sorting disaster debris after flooding is important—both to keep cleanup teams safe and to ensure debris is disposed properly.

Depending upon the community, household waste from a disaster may be collected at curbside or through drop-off. Either way, it’s important to separate wastes into:

  • Household hazardous waste such as paints, solvents, cleaners, household chemicals and lawn and garden chemicals
  • White and electronic goods including appliances, TVs and computers
  • Scrap metals
  • Garbage including mattresses, or plastic furniture, etc.
  • Tree limbs and trimmings

Stay safe during cleanup activities. Find more information on DNR’s disaster assistance webpage, including a list of materials likely to contain asbestos and how to manage waste disposal. For general assistance, contact the local DNR field office. For questions regarding asbestos requirements, contact Tom Wuehr, DNR environmental specialist at Tom.Wuehr@dnr.iowa.gov

 

Displaced Containers

Recent flooding scattered tanks, drums, cylinders and barrels onto properties adjacent to the Missouri River and its Iowa tributaries. These items may contain hazardous materials such as propane and industrial chemicals and should only be handled by trained professionals.

Iowa residents are encouraged to report displaced (“orphaned”) tanks, drums or other containers found in flood debris using the online form located on the Iowa DNR Disaster Assistance website.

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