Over-the-road drivers are again jockeying with local traffic on the region’s secondary highways, now that Interstate 29 and major Missouri River crossings have closed because of flooding.
It’s not clear how quickly it will reopen.
“A lot will depend on how long the roadway is underwater, and the amount of debris, and if there is any damage,” said Scott Suhr of the Iowa Department of Transportation. “We won’t know until the water recedes. We will update as we know more.”
Iowa roads officials have warned that additional road closures are likely.
As of Wednesday evening, I-29 was closed from:
» Crescent/I-680 interchange to Loveland, a 10-mile closure.
» Glenwood/U.S. 34 exit to the I-229 interchange in Missouri, about 100 miles.
There is also about a 1-mile detour for southbound I-29 traffic in northern Council Bluffs.
I-680 remained open as of Wednesday evening.
Among other roads, U.S. Highway 34 was closed from Bellevue in Nebraska to I-29 in Iowa. It’s one of two Missouri River crossings that are closed. The other is Highway 2.
Hanson’s Lakes levees are holding
Residents were back at the sandbags at Hanson’s Lakes Wednesday — making sure they did everything they could to fend off the rising Platte River.
And their work appeared to be worth it. The levee continued to hold Wednesday, said Josh Tedder of Tedder Construction. Tedder has property in Hanson’s Lakes and his company was assisting with shoring up the levees.
“The river seems to have crested,” Tedder said late Wednesday afternoon. “So far, we’re looking pretty good. We’re just waiting for it to recede.”
Sandbagging was suspended around 4 p.m., he said.
The river isn’t nearly as high as it was in March, when historic flooding struck Nebraska.
Jason Lambrecht, assistant director of the Nebraska Water Science Center for the U.S. Geological Survey, said the Platte crested at about 9 feet at Louisville on Wednesday afternoon. On March 16, it crested at 13.7 feet, about 1.5 times higher.
Smithsonian experts will help salvage treasures
Nebraska residents can learn how to restore and preserve their household treasures from Smithsonian Institution preservation experts who are holding a workshop Saturday in Omaha.
The Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative and the Durham Museum are teaming up for the 10 a.m. event at the museum, 801 S. 10th St.
The workshop will be livestreamed through Zoom videoconference software for those unable to attend.
Among the heirlooms that might be salvageable are photos, artwork, quilts, important documents and other keepsakes.
More information is available on the museum’s Facebook page.
Latest storms lead to more Iowa disaster declarations
The disaster declarations continue, right along with the storms.
On Wednesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds issued disaster declarations for 10 counties on the eastern side of the state. The decision was in response to heavy rain, hail, straight-line winds, tornadoes, flooding and flash flooding that began there on May 17. Some of those counties already had disaster declarations from earlier storms.