TUESDAY UPDATE: Flooding begins in parts of Blair, Fort Calhoun


As of Tuesday morning the City of Blair is monitoring some flooding on fields along Fish Creek between the Northview Apartments on North 10th Street and the water treatment plant. 

Assistant City Administrator Aaron Barrow doesn’t expect the flooding to cause damage to structures in the city if levees hold but residents of Northview Apartments could be impacted if flooding is worse than forecasted. The apartments were evacuated during the floods in 2011. 

Gov. Jim Pillen declared a state of emergency Monday evening for all counties along the Missouri River including Washington County. 

Pillen’s office said Monday it’s issuing the state of emergency as a proactive measure to ensure state funds and resources are immediately available if needed. 

Pillen release a joint statement with Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Monday warning citizens to remain off the Missouri River 

“Now is not the time to be on the water. In addition to higher-than-normal flow, there’s also the potential for more debris in the water, which poses a significant risk to anyone on the Missouri. It’s best to wait until levels return to normal to resume regular activities.”   

Officials started closing roads in Blair and Fort Calhoun Monday afternoon in response to rising waters from the swollen Missouri River.

In Blair, officials shut down Fairview Drive east of Marina Drive on Monday afternoon, which closed access to Optimist Park and the public boat ramp.

In Fort Calhoun, Washington County Roads Superintendent Dave Kruger was reporting flooding to County roads 30 and 51 east of town by mid-afternoon Monday, and he said he expected more roads in the area to be impacted as the water continues to rise. 

Barrow said on Monday that he didn’t anticipate flooding to impact the city, and his focus is on protecting the water treatment plant, which is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar expansion.

The City of Blair closed the floodgates at the water treatment plant on Monday afternoon. Barrow doesn’t believe the city will have to take further action as the river flooding associated with heavy rainfall from the north travels past Blair. 

The Missouri River reached a minor flood status Monday morning and is expected to crest Wednesday morning around Blair at 31.4 feet, surpassing levels seen during the floods in 2019 by about half a foot, according to the latest projection from the National Weather Service. 

The National Weather Service warns that flooding at this level could impact Interstate 29 between Crescent and Loveland, Iowa, along with roads east of Fort Calhoun. Additionally, companies along the river near Blair are likely to be impacted. 

John Remus, head of the Missouri River Basin Water Management for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said as of Monday that no population centers along the Missouri River south of Sioux City were at risk. But he anticipates impacts on agriculture and roads along the river.

Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks in northern Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, and northwest Iowa has resulted in a surge of water moving into the Missouri River. Historic flooding in northwest Iowa is also draining into the Missouri River.

Moderate flooding is expected to continue along the Missouri River in Nebraska and Iowa over the next week.