Missouri River flooding gets worse
June 1, 2011

A story in today's Omaha World-Herald describes the rising floodwaters threatening the town of Sloan, Iowa, as well as many other communities and facilities, including the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station, located about 20 miles upstream from Omaha. The worst part of the story is that the floods are going to get much worse long before they get better. The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors -- whose county includes Sloan as well as Sioux City -- have made an emergency allocation of $200,000 to help with flooding costs.

We can help you with portable dams, which work much better and faster than sandbag levees, and with sluice gates and other gates for floodwater control. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Missouri River inundation
June 6, 2011

The US Army Corps of Engineers has posted maps projecting the expected range of inundation along the Missouri River due to the record-smashing release rates of water from upstream dams. The effects in some communities will be nothing less than catastrophic -- the maps illustrating inundation from Plattsmouth, Nebraska, to Hamburg, Iowa show sections where Interstate 29 will be under ten feet of water or more, and where water will stretch miles inland all the way to the Loess Hills. The levee system protecting Council Bluffs will be severely strained. Pacific Junction will likely be under 8 feet of water, and MidAmerican Energy is scrambling to shore up flood defenses around its power plants south of Sioux City and south of Council Bluffs.

We are helping several communities right now with emergency pumps on rush shipments. We have a range of submersible pumps and engine-driven trash pumps available for rush shipment to those communities needing them. Call us at 515-223-4144 for assistance.

Branstad calls projected Missouri River flooding "the worst situation" he can remember
June 7, 2011

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is calling the Missouri River flooding "the worst situation I can ever remember", and he's probably right. The flooding is likely going to engulf much of the Interstate 29 corridor, and the inundation maps provided by the US Army Corps of Engineers reveal that a huge region of western Iowa is going to be under a lot of water once the upstream dams hit their high release point. There's apparently been little impact on corn markets, even though a significant number of acres are going to be submerged. The dams upstream were designed to withstand flows estimated from an 1881 flood, but this year's circumstances are even worse. Things will be made worse -- at least in small part -- due to flooding that's going to come through the Platte River system and into the Missouri as well.

We are actively assisting communities in Nebraska and western Iowa with pumps and other flood-control products. Please feel free to contact us with your questions.

Iowa WEA convention in Coralville
June 8, 2011

We exhibited today at the annual Iowa WEA convention in Coralville. Much of the attention on the floor was devoted to the record-shattering floods in western Iowa and their effects on wastewater treatment plants, but as usual the exciting developments from our manufacturers -- like advances in membrane technology from SSI and pumping technology from Gorman-Rupp -- caught plenty of notice as well.

Iowa WEA booth

Levees still holding along the Missouri
June 20, 2011

Levees in the Sioux City area are still holding as the Corps of Engineers prepares to spend all summer sending high flows down the Missouri River.

Flooding now officially worse than 1993
June 21, 2011

River stages along the Missouri River at Plattsmouth and Nebraska City have now surpassed the record levels of 1993. The flooding is threatening levees that protect many of the riverside cities, and putting great stress on municipal water treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants near the river as well. We will be involved in pump startups at two sites along the river tomorrow, helping communities keep vital services in operation while the floods continue.

River within inches of top of levee
June 22, 2011

The levee in southern Iowa in Fremont County between Hamburg and Nebraska City is now 18 inches from being overtopped, according to a report in the Des Moines Register. That levee is in the same region as Iowa/Nebraska Highway 2, which has been closed between the two states since it is already covered with water on the Iowa side. People living on the Iowa side have been ordered to evacuate as a result of the increased threat of overtopping.

We are prioritizing requests for assistance in connection with the flooding above other projects at the moment, and appreciate the understanding of our customers who may have to wait a little longer than usual for responses to their needs. As usual, however, we are attempting to serve everyone promptly and courteously.

Council Bluffs raises flood-alert level
June 23, 2011

The city of Council Bluffs has raised its river-flooding alert level to start getting residents prepared for serious flooding, in case the levees protecting the town aren't able to keep up with the rising output of upstream dams as well as all of the additional precipitation that's falling all around the area. We started up two pump systems in the area yesterday -- one to keep a sewer system in operation, the other to provide raw water intake for a city that had to close three of its wells due to flooding. On the return to our offices in West Des Moines, we shot this video of the Missouri River at Plattsmouth, Nebraska, just downstream of Omaha/Council Bluffs:

The floodwaters are especially bad at Plattsmouth, which as its name suggests is at the mouth of the Platte River, which is also flooding. We are prepared to assist communities, businesses, and residents up and down the river with municipal pumps, small pumps for homes and businesses, geomembranes for protecting levees, and flood-control gates (which will mainly come into use once the flooding has subsided). Contact us with your questions and we'll be happy to help.

Gorman-Rupp pumps help Nebraska City fight back against record flood
June 24, 2011

Nebraska City is fighting the highest flood stage ever recorded along the Missouri River, and as the water forces mandatory evacuations on the Iowa side of the river, Nebraska City is staying put. The floods have forced the city to shut down some of its raw water wells, but an emergency installation of Gorman-Rupp pumps to provide raw water to an emergency treatment system is designed to help ensure continued water service no matter how long the floods persist. A Gorman-Rupp self-priming Super T Series pump is drawing the water from the river -- 12 feet below and about 100 feet away all the way to dry land before pushing it out to emergency packaged-treatment units, based on a design by engineers Justin Stine and Kevin Sasse of JEO Consulting Group. We started the pump on Wednesday and it went into immediate service.

Gorman-Rupp was able to deliver pumps to Nebraska City on a rush basis, and thanks to the foresight of the engineers and city utility authorities on-site, the entire system is prepared to help Nebraska City weather the worst. For a perspective on just how bad the situation is, our return trip involved crossing the swollen Missouri river and taking a 20-mile Interstate detour:

By the way, the pump startup was the top story on the news in nearby Lincoln that day.

More levee breaches in southwestern Iowa
June 30, 2011

A levee near Percival -- in the far southwestern corner of Iowa -- has failed, giving residents of the small town just a few hours to get out with their belongings. The floods along the Missouri River continue to keep us and many other parties busy, particularly with demand for portable pumps and other products. Because this is such uncharted territory, people are having to face questions they haven't addressed in the past -- like what would happen to the two nuclear power plants along the river in Nebraska if one of the upstream dams were to give way. The floods are pushing some people out of their homes and sending others far out of their usual way to get to work and stores.

Past water and wastewater news updates

last revised June 2011