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Missouri River Flooding Breaches Two Protective Structures In Pottawattamie County

The Missouri River’s rising water has breached two protective structures in western Iowa’s Pottawattamie County, and the water is continuing toward nearby roadways.
The water breached a berm along the riverbank near the Missouri's confluence with the Boyer River. It also broke through the Honey Creek Drainage Ditch. These are in the northwest part of the county, 1-2 miles west of Interstate 29. The rising Missouri River is expected to crest on Friday.

The county received its first reports about the breaches around 12:15 p.m. Michell Bose, a Pottawattamie County emergency management specialist, estimates about 30 households are in the affected area. The county sent out emergency alerts and is advising people to be prepared to leave later Wednesday.

“We still have a foot to go on there,” said Bose, referring to how much higher the Missouri River is expected to rise before Sept. 20. The Missouri River at Omaha is sitting just above minor flood stage, and is predicted to crest at 30.2 feet on Friday.

“I think [we’re] basically just trying to see exactly where this water is going to go," Bose said.

She continued, “In this job, you can’t say exactly what it’s going to do until it actually does it.”

It’s unclear how long or how deep the breaches are. Michael Bertacini, an emergency management specialist with the county, said emergency responders are having trouble accessing the areas because of floodwaters in the way. They’re brainstorming ways to prevent more water from spilling in.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is keeping Interstate 29 near Honey Creek open through the evening commute. Officials are monitoring a levee breach nearby and say they may close about 10 miles of I-29 near Honey Creek tonight, after the evening commute.

Katie Peikes was a reporter for Iowa Public Radio from 2018 to 2023. She joined IPR as its first-ever Western Iowa reporter, and then served as the agricultural reporter.