Katie Peikes


Katie Peikes is a Sioux City-based reporter for Iowa Public Radio.

Katie joined IPR in July 2018 as its first-ever western Iowa reporter. Before she moved to Iowa, Katie worked as a science reporter and fill-in host for Delaware Public Media, where she spent two years reporting on Delaware's coast and the region’s poultry industry.

Katie has also worked as a journalist in Utah, where she reported on a wide range of topics including local government, education and the environment. She is originally from Connecticut.

Katie's favorite public radio program is Science Friday.

Katie Peikes / IPR

It’s been nearly a month since the swollen Missouri River and its tributaries started to flood western Iowa. In southwest Iowa’s Fremont County, hundreds of homes remain evacuated, with no word of when people can go back. 

Katie Peikes / IPR file

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting more than 38 million acre feet of runoff will go into the upper Missouri River Basin this year, which will be the 6th highest on record in the last 120 years, if reached.

Joseph L. Murphy / Iowa Soybean Association

Iowa’s two U.S. senators are working to expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s disaster relief program to include stored grain. Farmers say that could help their losses because of flooding along the Missouri River and its tributaries.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and governors from two neighboring states along the Missouri River agree that their states will need to have more input in managing the river in the future.

They met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday to talk about recovering from record flooding, repairing levees and how to manage the river.

Damon Dahlen//HuffPost

Over the weekend, several Democrats running for president in 2020 visited Storm Lake to participate in a discussion of rural issues called "The Heartland Forum".

Courtesy of Matt Schoville

Flooding in southwest Iowa has kept people out of their homes for two weeks now. Some families have been settling in at campground sites.

Courtesy of Fremont County Emergency Management

Several southwest Iowa communities are still battling historic flooding and people remain displaced from their homes.

One of those people is Matt Schoville. He and his family have been out of their home just south of Percival for almost two weeks. They’ve been staying at a campground outside of Sidney. Schoville said it’s been devastating being displaced from their home.

Katie Peikes / IPR

People in several western Iowa communities are still waiting for waters to recede so they can go back to their homes, after the swollen Missouri River and its tributaries caused widespread, major flooding this month. 

In other parts of the region, people are already back, and they’re beginning the long process of assessing the damages and cleaning up their houses. The 200-or so people who live in Hornick in Woodbury County, have been back in their community for over a week.

Katie Peikes / IPR

A northwest Iowa man who recorded himself on video burning books from the Orange City Public Library has appeared in court. Paul Dorr will face a new judge when his case continues because the one originally assigned feels he has a conflict of interest.

marshalltown tornado
Katarina Sostaric/IPR file

A nonprofit group that rehabilitates homes plans to repair 100 that were devastated in the Marshalltown tornado last July.

Katie Peikes/Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Saturday that President Trump has approved a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration for more than half of Iowa's counties affected by major flooding.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is asking President Donald Trump for $1.6 billion in federal assistance to help Iowa recover from catastrophic flooding.

Courtesy of Fremont County Emergency Management

Extreme damage to Missouri River levees from flooding has officials in southwest Iowa concerned that they won’t be fixed in time for more possible flooding this spring. These levees that are built to prevent rivers from overflowing are in disrepair.

Courtesy of Fremont County Emergency Management

Water levels along the Missouri River in southwest Iowa are dropping and floodwaters are receding a bit. Officials remain concerned about possible new flooding in the near future as snow continues to melt farther north.

Hornick resident Dale Ronfeldt's garage in water in March 2019. A reporter joked with him that he had "lakefront property" and Ronfeldt joked, "you want to buy some?"
Katie Peikes / IPR file

Residents were welcomed back to the western Iowa city of Hornick Monday morning, even as the city works to repair its sewer system.

Courtesy of Fremont County Iowa Emergency Management

Flooding across western Iowa has damaged levees and forced some communities to evacuate. The floodwaters have even put water treatment systems at risk.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds visited two western Iowa towns on Sunday to survey the damage from flooding.

Reynolds saw flooded homes and roads in Missouri Valley and Hornick. In Hornick, she toured the home of Dale Ronfeldt. Ronfeldt’s backyard looks like a lake and his basement is flooded in about 4 feet of water.

“My washer and dryer are floating around down there somewhere,” Ronfeldt said.

Courtesy of Woodbury County Sheriff's Office.

Courtney Nelson remembers evacuating the city of Hornick during the flood of 1996. She was 12 years old.

“It was the middle of the night, but we were just out for one night,” Nelson said. “We were able to come back the next day because the water was nowhere what it is now.”

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management

Some people in a western Iowa city are still out of their homes and businesses Thursday due to high water levels.

Pottawattamie County Emergency Management

Flooding that could top records set more than 20 years ago in southwest Iowa has one county taking precautions and opening a shelter.

Courtesy of Sioux City

Sioux City council members on Monday adopted plans for a multi-purpose venue that will host everything from farm shows to soccer tournaments to dog shows. Officials expect the Siouxland Expo Center to draw people from throughout the region.

ACLU of Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday struck down the state’s policy excluding transgender people from using Medicaid coverage for transition-related surgical care.

Courtesy of Iowa DNR

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is working to control an invasive aquatic plant and improve access for boaters in the Iowa Great Lakes region.


Iowa teens are drinking less alcohol, their electronic cigarette use is increasing and more youth are having thoughts about suicide, according to the latest Iowa youth health survey which samples middle school and high school students’ behavior every couple of years.

Courtesy of CDC.gov

Iowa environmental officials are working on a plan to find out how many public water systems in the state are having problems with an element called manganese. High levels of this contaminant were recently found in a west-central Iowa city. 

Katie Peikes/IPR / IPR

Retail giant Shopko is closing about 250 stores across the country after filing for bankruptcy in January. Two dozen of those stores are in Iowa, and 22 are Shopko Hometown stores, smaller-format locations designed for smaller cities and towns. Rural Iowa communities fear the closures of these general merchandise stores are going to hit them hard. 

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A support group for people who have been abused by clergy says the Diocese of Sioux City’s decision to publish a list of priests accused of sexual abuse is a big step towards transparency, but they still have some concerns.

John Pemble / IPR file

Iowa’s senior U.S. senator is looking for a way to make life-saving medication more affordable to people.

Republican Chuck Grassley chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, which is holding the second in a series of hearings Tuesday to examine why prescription drug prices are so high.

It takes time and money to make medications like insulin, Grassley says, but he thinks the system seems “somewhat out of balance.”

“Prices for some medications, like insulin, have skyrocketed even though nothing about them has changed in many, many decades,” he says.

Katie Peikes/IPR

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City made public on Monday a list of 28 priests credibly accused of sexually abusing minors, saying they hope the release of names is the first step in creating a more transparent environment and protecting youth in the future.

Katie Peikes/IPR

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro has been meeting with voters around Iowa this week.  He’s among those seeking the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.