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Missouri River Flooding Closes Portions Of I-680, I-29

Updated at 10:40 p.m. Sept. 20.

The Iowa Department of Transportation has closed a 3-mile stretch of Interstate 680 near the Missouri River, the second highway closure in western Iowa due to the latest round of flooding, as the river creeps towards its crest.
The I-680 closure, in effect at 10 p.m. Friday, involves I-680 from the Missouri River to the I-29 interchange near Crescent, north of Council Bluffs. Transportation officials have also extended a 10-mile closure of I-29 in the Honey Creek area 6 miles to the south, making the I-29 closure 16 miles. 

“We’ve closed our areas of greatest concern,” said Austin Yates, a traffic operations engineer with the Iowa Department of Transportation. Yates added hydrologists from the Iowa DOT and the National Weather Service have said they are “confident there will be no impacts farther south, like the Nebraska City area.”

The Iowa DOT initially expected to keep I-29 near Honey Creek closed for about a week based on the Missouri River forecasts, but Yates said now things are up in the air.

“We’ll be reassessing when we’ll be able to open,” Yates said. “The river is supposed to be in flood stage for a week. How that translates into highway impacts is what remains to be seen.”

About a mile of road in the Honey Creek area is underwater and water is up to 2 feet deep, Yates said.

“A car can maybe go through a couple inches of water, but the biggest thing that’s going to happen is your car is going to get water in the engine and shut down,” Yates said.

The Missouri River is at 30.12 feet as of 9:30 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. It is expected to crest at 30.2 feet around 1 a.m. Saturday, more than a foot above minor flood stage.

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.