close
close
Governor Reynolds visits Hawarden and other flooded towns in northwest Iowa
Governor Reynolds visits Hawarden and other flooded towns in northwest Iowa

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is touring flood-affected communities in northwest Iowa today. Her first stop was Hawarden, where water and sewer systems were lost and about 60 residents spent Sunday night in the emergency shelter at West Sioux High School.

“We need to get the wastewater treatment back up and running, we want to make sure the water remains safe to drink, we need to get more wells online,” says Reynolds. “We know that the biggest need in the future is probably housing.” Reynolds has department heads with her on her tour and says they are already discussing the housing issue.
“We’re already working with the team to develop some really innovative programs that address this unmet need to work with developers and builders. We don’t have five years to build housing. We need to do it as quickly as possible,” says Reynolds.

According to Hawarden Town Manager Gary Tucker, 190 homes sustained significant damage, another 120 had moderate to minor damage and 100 businesses were affected. He says about a third of the community is still without power, the water plant is back up and running, but it could be some time before the sewer system is back online. “The homes that discharge into our sewer plant may be able to use it toward the end of this week, but getting our sewer plant fully operational will certainly take a couple of months,” Tucker says. The mayor says volunteers should follow Hawarden’s Facebook page to stay updated on opportunities to help.

The governor has requested a presidential disaster declaration, and Congressman Randy Feenstra is confident that will happen soon. “Because that opens up the opportunity to provide long-term housing for people, whether it’s hotels or other rental housing, and also transportation,” Feenstra says. “A lot of bridges are going to be broken, we need money to fix them and then get the water and sewer systems back up and running in all of these communities. So it’s a challenge, but we’re going to rise to the challenge and we’re all going to get it done together.”

The Governor will also visit Rock Valley, Rock Rapids, Spencer and Cherokee today.

(By Doug Broek, KSOU, Sioux Center)

By Liam