June 17, 2008

Contact: State Emergency Operations Center, (515) 323-4222

07:30 AM UPDATED INFORMATION ON IOWA’S FLOODING

I. New way to donate

One issue that constantly comes up during and after a disaster involves people wanting to help. While officials stressed that the best way to help is to make a cash donation to a charity of your choice, a new way to donate has been announced. By visiting the flood 2008 web site and clicking on the donations link on the upper left side, Iowans and others can donate cash, volunteer and supply their time. This will help both those that want to donate and emergency managers and responders often faced with the task of managing donations. The donation link was coordinated by the Safeguard Iowa Partnership, an agency established to help coordinate private and public response and preparedness efforts. During this disaster, Safeguard Iowa is at the State Emergency Operations Center coordinating private and public efforts. The flood 2008 website is at http://flood2008.iowa.gov/.

II. AREAS OF CONCERN

Sandbagging and levee building efforts continue in southeastern Iowa. National guard troops are working in Des Moines and Lee counties to build up levees to protect key infrastructure. There was a levee breach at Gulfport, Illinois, across from Burlington. Officials are reviewing the situation. Early reports indicate the levee breach will force a new road closure. (See Road headings for more information.)

Columbus Junction/Fredonia

The river has crested in Columbus Junction. Officials continue to monitor the Des Moines River.

Ottuwma

Army Corps of Engineers will slow the Red Rock release rate from 115,000 CFS to 100,000 CFS. This change means that the water will stay at the 21.3 for 12 – 14 days.

Ottumwa will continue to build up the berm around the water treatment facility. Sandbagging efforts are going smoothly.

Cedar Rapids

Officials understand the frustration of Cedar Rapids residents who want to return home. They stress they are working to clear the evacuated area of all hazards to ensure a safe reentry. Sink holes, downed power lines and uncovered manholes remain a hazard. While the city’s water capacity has improved, residents are asked to conserve water. Linn county has established regular press briefings and residents are encouraged to tune to those for the latest information.

II. FATALITIES

There have been seventeen storm-related deaths since the tornado of May 25. A previous 18th fatality in Henry County is under investigation and it appears is NOT flood related.

ROAD CLOSURES

Interstate 80 in Cedar County opened at 4:00 p.m. June 16. Interstate 380 from exit 4 to exit 10 in Johnson County is scheduled to open Tuesday at 6:00 a.m.

New Updates:

U.S. 34: in Des Moines County – The Mississippi River bridge at Burlington is closed due to a levee breach in Gulfport, Ill
U.S. 61: in Lee County – The Mississippi River bridge at Fort Madison is closed due to flooding on the Iowa site.
U.S. 136: in Lee County – The Mississippi River bridge at Keokuk closed overnight into Illinois, but reopened this morning at 4 a.m. to one lane of traffic in each direction. U.S. 136 is CLOSED into Missouri.

Roadways now open to traffic

· I-380: in Johnson County – Interstate 380 (also U.S. 218/Iowa 27) between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City is open.

· U.S. 169: in Dallas County – U.S. 169 is open one mile north of Iowa 141.

Previously mentioned and updated road closures

Interstate routes

· I-29: All exit and entrance ramps at McPaul interchange – All exit and entrance ramps are closed at the McPaul interchange (exit 20) in Fremont County.

· I-80 and Dubuque Street interchange: in Johnson County – Flood waters are over Dubuque Street south of this interchange in Iowa City. The southbound exit from I-80 is closed.

· I-380 and H Avenue Interchange: in Linn County (ramp closure only) – The southbound I-380 exit ramp (#21) to H Avenue has been closed due to flooding.

· I-380 and 1st Avenue interchange: in Linn County (ramp closures only) – The northbound I-380 entrance ramp (#19A) to 1st Avenue West and the southbound I-380 exit ramp (#19B) have been closed due to flood waters over 1st Avenue West in downtown Cedar Rapids. I-380 remains open.

· I-380 and 1st Street interchange: in Linn County (ramp closures only) – The northbound I-380 exit ramp (#19C) to 1st Street West and the southbound I-380 exit ramp (#20A) to 1st Street East have been closed due to flood in downtown Cedar Rapids. I-380 remains open.

· I-380 exit ramp Diagonal Drive Interchange: in Linn County (ramp closure only) – The northbound I-380 exit ramp (#19A) to Diagonal Drive has been closed due to flooding.

For the latest in road closures, please visit the Iowa Department of Transportation’s website at: www.511ia.org .

III. DECLARATIONS

Counties covered under Governor Culver’s Disaster Proclamation: 83 counties. Adair, Adams, Allamakee, Appanoose, Audubon, Benton, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Buchanan, Butler, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Cerro Gordo, Chickasaw, Clarke, Clayton, Crawford, Clinton, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Davis, Decatur, Des Moines, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Fremont, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Howard, Humboldt, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Jones, Jefferson, Keokuk, Kossuth, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Lucas, Marion, Marshall, Mitchell, Monona, Montgomery, Muscatine, Mahaska, Madison, Mills, Monroe, Page, Polk, Pottawattamie, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Scott, Story, Shelby, Tama, Taylor, Union, Van Buren, Wapello, Warren, Webster, Winneshiek, Worth, Wright, Washington, Wayne, and Winnebago.

The Governor’s proclamation activates Iowa’s individual disaster assistance program. Iowa’s individual disaster assistance program helps people with low incomes. Iowans with household incomes of up to 130 percent of federal poverty guidelines may apply for a grant of up to $3,300 to help recover from flood damage. The Governor emphasized that this is a reimbursement program, meaning that applicants must include receipts when applying for help.

Counties declared presidential disasters for Individual Assistance: 24 counties. Adams, Cedar, Jones, Louisa, Muscatine, Polk, Winneshiek, Benton, Bremer, Black Hawk, Butler, Buchanan, Cerro Gordo, Delaware, Fayette, Floyd, Hardin, Johnson, Linn, Marion, Page, Story, Tama and Union. Individual Assistance allows homeowners, renters, business owners and non-profit organizations to recover from the effects of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 25 and continues.

Individual Assistance allows homeowners, renters, business owners and non-profit organizations to recover from the effects of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 25 and continues.

Counties declared presidential disasters for Public Assistance: 15 counties. Black Hawk, Boone, Buchanan, Butler, Cerro Gordo, Crawford, Dallas, Delaware, Dubuque, Floyd, Franklin, Marion, Story, Tama and Union. Public Assistance funds pay 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. A series of applicant briefings will be held for local officials to explain the application process. (15)

Public Assistance funds pay 75 percent of the approved cost of debris removal, emergency services related to the disaster and repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, buildings and utilities. A series of applicant briefings will be held for local officials to explain the application process. Black Hawk, Buchanan, Butler and Delaware were previously included on the declaration for Public Assistance.

V. SHELTERS

SHELTER SUMMARY

American Red Cross Open Shelters:

Benton County

o Iowa Braille School, 1002 G Avenue Vinton, IA 52349;

Black Hawk County

o UNI West Gym, University Ave & Campus St, Cedar Falls, IA 50613;

Bremer County

o Wartburg College, 222 9th ST NW, Waverly, IA 50677;

Johnson County

o Johnson County Fairgrounds, 4265 Oak Crest Hill Rd SE Iowa City, IA 52240;

o Northwest Jr High School, 1507 8th Street, Coralville, Iowa 52241;

Linn County

· Viola Gibson Elm. School, 6101 Gibson Dr. NE Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404;

· Prairie High School, 401 76th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 62404;

Louisa County

o Louisa/Muscatine School, 14353 170th St, Letts, Iowa 52754;

Page County

o Old Armory, 423 West Thomas, Shenandoah, Iowa 51601;

Polk County

o Callanan Middle School, 3010 Center Street Des Moines, IA 50312;

Wapello County

o Ottumwa High School, 501 E 2nd St, Ottumwa, IA 52501;

16 shelters are in standby mode throughout the State

VI. IMPORTANT NOTICES

Stay out of flood affected areas unless you have been told to be there. Emergency Management Officials need clear access to these areas, and unless you need to be there, stay away.

Evacuate Means Evacuate. If you are directed by local officials to evacuate, leave the area immediately. The situation remains dangerous, and to help protect the lives of Iowans, please leave if you are told to do so.

Be wary of unscrupulous practices. Disasters bring out the best in people, and can sometimes bring out the worst. Reports are sporadic at this time, but have indicated that Iowans affected by flood waters have been scammed by people posing as contractors or emergency personnel. Remember:

* Never pay for goods or services in advance

* Never give out your social security number

* Always ask for identification

VII. VOLUNTEER

Iowans interested in volunteering or donating are encouraged to contact the Iowa Concerns Hotline at: 800.447.1985. Donations are also available at the flood 2008 site. See the lead story in this release.

WARNING: Please stay out of areas affected by flooding unless you are directed to be there. Emergency personnel need free access to these areas, and onlookers affect emergency operations.

VIII. KEY NUMBERS/WEBSITE

To call for updated shelter information, call 1-800-GET-INFO (438-4636)

211 (regional call center to help people with human services)

Iowa Concern Hotline 1-800-447-1985 for volunteers and donations

Road Closures Hotline 1-866-452-8510 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily or 24 hours at www.511ia.org .

To apply for federal assistance, contact FEMA at www.fema.gov .

For current weather forecasts and flood statements, visit http://www.weather.gov .

X. PREVIOUS BRIEFINGS

Previous briefings are available on the new website – http://flood2008.iowa.gov/ .

XI. SCHEDULE FOR TOMORROW

Public events will be announced as made available.