February 17, 2020
When the flooding started in Southwest Iowa in March 2019, few people expected the water to rise and fall relatively quickly, as it did during the 2011 floods. The cause of this round of flooding was complicated with snowmelt runoff from the north, heavy spring rains, and swollen tributaries feeding the Missouri River.
Nearly a year later, water still inundates a significant portion of several Southwest Iowa counties. Last Spring's heavy rainfall caused both the Missouri River and the Platte River that feeds it to swell, breaking through an intricate system of levees. With the levee system breached, powerful water ran freely through farmlands, towns, and the transportation system, impacting both state and county road and railroad lines. Local citizens were forced to find creative ways to get where they needed to go, often adding hours to each day’s commute. With more flooding predicted for Spring 2020, the Iowa DOT has been working non-stop on projects designed to reduce the traffic impacts more flooding could bring. One such project is on Iowa 2 near Nebraska City.