2019 Floods

Katie Peikes / IPR file

A year ago, water from the West Fork of the Little Sioux River overtopped a levee and flooded the western Iowa town of Hornick. The town is still recovering, and waiting for future flood mitigation.

Katie Peikes / IPR

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers met a target goal at the beginning of the month to restore levee systems along the mainstem of the Missouri River to their height before last spring’s flooding. 

Katie Peikes / IPR file

It’s been a year since massive flooding along the Missouri River devastated western Iowa communities. Many are still trying to recover. And forecasters say there's a good likelihood of minor to moderate flooding again this year.

Katie Peikes / IPR File

The Iowa Senate unanimously approved an additional $20 million for flood relief Thursday. If passed by the House of Representatives and signed into law, it would bring the total direct state money for flood recovery projects stemming from the 2019 floods to $35 million.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Last year, Iowa lawmakers set aside $15 million for flood recovery projects. A state board awarded all of the money to affected communities in eastern and western Iowa. Now, dozens more flood recovery projects are on the table, waiting for the state legislature to put more money in.   

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Southwest Iowa farmers are preparing for next year after suffering big losses from this year’s Missouri River flooding. Some say they are worried about more flooding in 2020, but are sticking to their livelihood.

Courtesy of NOAA

Devices that measure water levels along the Missouri River show the river has finally dropped below flood stage between Sioux City and where the river meets the Mississippi River near St. Louis.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

At least one home in southwest Iowa’s Fremont County is still sitting in high water nearly nine months after floodwaters from the Missouri River inundated parts of the county.  

Michael Leland / IPR

Some southwest Iowa communities are still recovering from last year’s devastating spring flooding from the Missouri River, and they’re watching for warnings of possible flooding in 2020. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is emptying out flood control storage in the Upper Missouri River Basin reservoirs to lower the chances of flooding next spring. Nick Johnson with Mills County say residents are usually concerned about the possibility of flooding because the county borders the Missouri River, but even more so this year.

Amy Mayer / IPR file

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has paid out a record $4.24 billion in claims for acres farmers couldn’t plant this year.

The “prevented planting” provision allows farmers to file a crop insurance claim when weather conditions leave fields unfit for a crop. Heavy spring rains and flooding left some Midwest farm ground too wet for seeds and equipment during the planting window, meaning farmers couldn’t put in the corn or soybeans they’d intended for those acres. 


The Iowa Department of Transportation is raising some sections of Interstate 29 north of Council Bluffs to keep traffic moving even when the Missouri River is at flood stage.

Katie Peikes / IPR

A community in western Iowa is using state flood recovery money to build a berm around town in hopes it will protect people from future flooding. Officials have put their original plan for a protective trail on hold for now.

Iowa 511 / https://hb.511ia.org/ / Iowa DOT

The latest round of flooding along the Missouri River will likely slowly begin to subside over the next several days. The river reached its peak near Council Bluffs on Monday and is expected to fall below minor flood stage there on Saturday.

Austin Yates / Iowa DOT

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.

https://www.511ia.org/ / Iowa DOT

Officials in western Iowa are watching the rising Missouri River. Water breached a levee in Pottawattamie County Wednesday evening, the third protective structure in the area to breach due to the Missouri River’s third round of flooding this year.

Courtesy of Iowa 511 Traveler Information - Statewide Facebook page.

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.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

The rising Missouri River is expected to crest later this week, possibly bringing a third round of flooding to parts of southwest Iowa. Federal officials say they are confident some levee repairs made this summer due to prior flooding will hold. They’re also keeping an eye on some breaches that haven’t been repaired.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

A state board has signed off on $15 million to buy out damaged homes and to build and repair levees in western Iowa. But some flood recovery projects are being left on the table.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

The Missouri River’s levels are rising, triggered by recent heavy rainfall in states upriver from Iowa and greater releases from flood control dams. Officials in one southwest Iowa county are advising people to consider evacuating, while others continue to watch the river.

Clay Masters / IPR File

Iowa Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King currently has less money to spend on his campaign than his Republican primary challengers, but King says he isn’t worried as he vies for a 10th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Katie Peikes / IPR

A group of volunteers is replacing the ceiling in a flood-damaged home in Pacific Junction. Mayor Andy Young is working with them. This home belongs to his daughter.

“That’ll go. Just screw it up atop there,” Young instructed two volunteers as they used electric drills to put drywall into place.

Katie Peikes / IPR

A southwest Iowa restaurant damaged by last spring’s flooding is preparing to make a comeback.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

Southwest Iowa communities are still struggling to recover from this spring’s flooding.

Kate Payne/IPR

Scientists are urging Davenport officials to factor in climate change as they debate future flood protection plans. Some analysts say this year’s historic flood levels could’ve been much worse.

Katie Peikes / IPR file photo

The mayor of a small western Iowa town that flooded last spring pitched his idea for a future flood control measure during a town hall meeting Thursday.

Kate Payne/IPR file

Eastern Iowa residents will have a chance to weigh in on flooding, drought and navigation on the Mississippi River at public meetings this month. Events are slated for this Saturday in Muscatine and July 27th in Dubuque.

Kate Payne/IPR file

The city of Davenport is taking a deeper look at this year’s historic floods and the city’s handling of them. A task force of residents, business leaders, local officials and scientists met for the first time this week, kick-starting a formal review process.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

People in nine flood-impacted counties across Iowa now have until mid-July to register for federal help to recover from flooding, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Monday.

Kate Payne / IPR file

The Mississippi River is continuing to dip below flood stage in Iowa after setting new marks for the longest flood on record in communities from Dubuque to Keokuk. As the water recedes, local leaders are setting to the task of adding up all the damage left behind.

Katie Peikes / IPR file

People in nine Iowa counties hit hardest by flooding from the Missouri and Mississippi rivers have one more week to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get help recovering from this spring’s flooding.