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Floodwaters force closure of several Iowa highways

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/14/2019
A Welcome to Wahoo sign stands in flood waters outside Wahoo, Neb., Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Forecasters say major flooding is likely in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa over the next couple days and some rural roads already had to be closed after being covered with water. The National Weather Service says this week's significant rain is especially problematic because much of the region is still covered by a blanket of snow and the ground is still frozen, so the rail flows right into streams and rivers. © Nati Harnik/AP Photo A Welcome to Wahoo sign stands in flood waters outside Wahoo, Neb., Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Forecasters say major flooding is likely in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa over the next couple days and some rural roads already had to be closed after being covered with water. The National Weather Service says this week's significant rain is especially problematic because much of the region is still covered by a blanket of snow and the ground is still frozen, so the rail flows right into streams and rivers.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Floodwaters have forced Iowa officials to close several highways on the west side of the state.

Interstate 680 near Council Bluffs and a portion of Interstate 29 were reported closed early Thursday. The Iowa Transportation Department says a stretch of U.S. Highway 75 was covered by floodwater northeast of Sioux City, but a detour was operating.

An emergency shelter was opened in Council Bluffs because of flooding along Mosquito Creek, and sandbagging was underway in Avoca, where an emergency shelter was opened as the West Nishnabotna River continued to rise.

Residents of Missouri Valley were asked to evacuate after levees were breached.

More than 1.55 inches (3.9 centimeters) of rain was reported in Sioux City, where Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew listed 16 spots where floodwaters covered roads.

He told the Sioux City Journal , "There's a big swath of water that's got to go somewhere."

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