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Devastating Midwest Flooding Causes At Least Two Dead and Evacuations

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Midwest flooding has resulted in serious damage, including the collapse of a bridge, the weakening of a dam, and the forced evacuation of a town. The affected population of Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska is close to 3 million.

Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa called the record flooding’s impact in the South Dakota and Iowa border area as “severe and widespread.” In South Dakota and Iowa, there have been at least one death each.

In an update released Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service stated that while “the chance for additional rainfall in the next 2 to 3 days is low,” flooding impacts will persist in some areas of South Dakota and Iowa.

Iowa:

The sheriff’s office in Clay County, Iowa, reported that one person perished in the flooding over the weekend. Floodwater isolated Spencer, the county seat of Clay County and home to more than 11,000 residents, from the outside world. According to Spencer Fire Chief Jesse Coulson, 383 people have been rescued after hundreds were evacuated to shelters.

Spencer resident 20-year-old Nate Gastelum described the terrifying experience of escaping his house as the floodwaters surged. “My roommate and I felt a little uneasy, so we decided it was time to leave,” he remarked. Gastelum pointed out that while his own house was badly damaged, some had it worse, with houses completely wrecked and cars submerged.

“What’s great about this town is that everyone who wasn’t negatively affected is welcoming as many people as they can accommodate,” he continued.

On Monday, Governor Reynolds made a number of trips to northwest Iowa, declaring one county to be in a state of disaster and the remaining five to be in an emergency. The floods was described as “unprecedented” by the fire marshal of Sioux City, emphasizing how difficult it is to forecast what will happen next because such destruction has never been seen before.

The National Weather Service reports that a flood warning will be in force until 1 p.m. on Tuesday in several areas of northwest Iowa.

South Dakota:

On Sunday night, a railroad bridge that crossed the Big Sioux River to connect North Sioux City, South Dakota, with Sioux City, Iowa, fell. The South Dakota Highway Patrol reports that one worker perished in South Dakota when a utility task vehicle rolled down an embankment formed by a washed-out roadway.

Governor Kristi Noem advised locals to put safety first and avoid flooding. “There was only one fatality during the entire incident,” Noem stated, highlighting the actual threat the floods posed.

The National Weather Service says that there is still a flood warning in effect for Southeast South Dakota until 1:00 PM on Tuesday.

Minnesota:

A dam close to Rapidan in south-central Minnesota is in danger of failing soon because of structural damage brought on by the flooding. Local authorities are keeping a careful eye on the situation but have not scheduled a mass evacuation in spite of the damage.

For regions downstream of the Rapidan Dam along the Blue Earth River, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning that lasted until 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday. People in low-lying areas were advised to evacuate right away and seek higher ground. Until Tuesday, there is still a flood warning in effect for southern Minnesota, and a flood watch is in effect for certain southwest areas.

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