United States

Two Deaths Reported As Midwest Flooding Causes Severe Damage, Forces Evacuations

The Midwest is facing severe flooding, causing significant damage, including the collapse of a bridge, weakening a dam, and evacuation of an entire town. Nearly 3 million people have been affected by the floods.

Midwest floods claim 2 lives Photo: X

The Midwest is grappling with severe flooding that has led to significant damage, including the collapse of a bridge, the weakening of a dam, and the evacuation of an entire town. Nearly 3 million people across Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska have been affected by the floods.

In the border area between Iowa and South Dakota, the devastation has been "severe and widespread," according to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. The floods have claimed lives in both states, with at least one person in Iowa and one in South Dakota confirmed dead.

"Flooding impacts will continue" in parts of Iowa and South Dakota, but the chance for additional rainfall in the next 2 to 3 days is low, the National Weather Service reported on Monday afternoon.

In Clay County, Iowa, the sheriff’s office confirmed that one person drowned over the weekend due to the floods. Spencer, the county seat with a population of over 11,000, has been cut off from the rest of the state by floodwaters. Hundreds of residents were evacuated to shelters, and 383 rescues have been conducted, according to Spencer Fire Chief Jesse Coulson.

Houses collapsed, submerged cars submerged, and there was mass power outage due to flood. Some residents had to jump from upper stories onto boats to escape the rising waters.

Despite the devastation, the community has rallied together. "The south side of town is almost completely destroyed. Everybody that wasn’t greatly impacted is opening their doors to as many people as they can fit," Nate Gastelum, a resident of Spencer, said. His mother had taken in 11 people and several dogs.

Governor Reynolds visited the affected areas in northwest Iowa on Monday, issuing a disaster proclamation for one county and an emergency proclamation for five others. "In almost every community impacted, the river crested several feet above record levels from the flood of 1993," Reynolds said at a news conference.

Sioux City Fire Marshal Mark Aesoph called the flooding "unprecedented," highlighting the difficulty in predicting future developments due to the region's inexperience with such extreme conditions. A flood warning remains in effect for parts of northwest Iowa until 1 p.m. Tuesday.

In South Dakota, a railroad bridge connecting Sioux City, Iowa, to North Sioux City, South Dakota, collapsed into the Big Sioux River on Sunday night. One person died after their utility task vehicle rolled down an embankment created by a washed-out roadway, according to the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Governor Kristi Noem emphasized the importance of safety, urging residents to stay out of floodwaters. "Throughout this entire incident, we did have one loss of life," Noem said, underscoring the dangerous nature of the flooding. The impact of the destruction will be felt for months, Noem warned. Southeast South Dakota remains under a flood warning until 1 pm Tuesday.

In south-central Minnesota, the Rapidan Dam faces "imminent failure" due to structural damage caused by the floods. While the dam remains functional, local authorities are closely monitoring the situation and have not yet called for a mass evacuation. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for areas downstream of the Rapidan Dam along the Blue Earth River until 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Southern Minnesota remains under a flood warning through Tuesday, with a flood watch in effect for some southwestern areas.