WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Iowa state officials report damage assessments continue after severe weather, hail, tornadoes and flooding hit the state on May 16. Governor, Thomas J. Vilsack, declared a State of Emergency in Black Hawk, Buchanan, Clayton, Dubuque and Fayette counties yesterday.
State officials also report two confirmed storm-related fatalities and 17 injuries in Harrison County and 1,454 displaced persons in other affected areas as the result of tornado and flooding damage.
American Red Cross (ARC) shelters were opened in Independence (Buchanan county), Waterloo (Black Hawk county), and Manchester (Delaware county) for local flooding.
Some bridges and secondary roads across the state are reported closed due to continued flooding this morning. In Buchanan County, Iowa Highway 281 is closed for the long-term from near Fairbanks to the junction of Iowa Highway 150 just south of Independence due to bridge damage.
Highway 281 was reported closed because of flooding in Black Hawk County north and south of Dunkerton, isolating the town. State officials said the situation should improve today as the water recedes.
Flooding was causing a majority of the problems across Iowa yesterday. In Clayton County, officials report 50 percent of the residents in the small town of Volga were evacuated yesterday morning as high water began to isolate the town. A dike near the town has been compromised and the town's water main has been washed out. The town's sewer system has also been severely damaged.
In Dubuque County, 260 homes, four businesses and one school are reported flooded. Some 346 homes are without gas and 50 homes are without electricity. A water main break in Dubuque City is affecting 20 percent of the city. Another 80 homes were reported flooded in Dyersville by the Maquoketa River.
State officials plan a flyover to investigate reports of liquid propane tanks floating away in Buchanan County
State officials conducting damage assessments are in contact with Officials of FEMA's regional office in Kansas City, Mo. (Region VII). FEMA staff in Kansas City are closely monitoring the situation in Iowa.