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UPDATE: Evacuated residents in Rock Valley allowed to return home as waters recede

UPDATE: Evacuated residents in Rock Valley allowed to return home as waters recede

JUNE 23, 2018: (Associated Press) Most people have been allowed back into their homes in a northwest Iowa community after they were evacuated because of flooding.

Rock Valley public information officer Travis Olson says 12 blocks of the city - between 50 and 70 homes - were evacuated Thursday as the swollen Rock River came out of its banks.

But Olson says by Friday afternoon, the waters had begun to recede, and most residents were allowed to return.

The exception, he said, was one mobile home park still under water. Olson says some roads also were reopened Friday afternoon.

Churches were opened as emergency shelters to those evacuated, and about 400 volunteers and emergency workers worked through the night filling sandbags and creating berms.

The National Weather Service says the river rose rapidly Wednesday with the 5 to 7 inches (13 to 18 centimeters) of rain that fell along the Interstate 90 corridor in South Dakota.


JUNE 22, 2018: Residents in Rock Valley, Iowa worked frantically overnight in a sandbagging operation to save as many homes as possible.

A mobile home is basically entirely flooded and most residents have been evacuated from the area.

Heavy rains have raised the smaller bodies around the Rock River causing them to overflow into the Rock River which is what has caused a lot of flooding.

This area is no stranger to flooding, as one residents says, it's something you can never be fully prepared for.

"It's something you just don't anticipate you know, I've been living here all my life and I've never seen a flood like this or 2014, you know? You just never know", says resident Jim Driesen.

Authorities around Rock Valley did their best to prepare for the heavy rains and possible flooding by using their experiences from the 2014 flood.

Rock Valley Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo says, "We learned how to build berms correctly on our streets to save people's houses and to keep everyone out of harms way. Our guys did a great job they knew where to go with the stuff and they got it put there. So the experience from four years ago did a lot of good last night."

Van Otterloo went on to thank all the volunteers who made it out to stack sandbags and just offered a helping hand.

As for people in the park, they will continue to wait for the water to lower, and hopefully they can get moved back in soon.

Mid American has been out trying to get the power back on for some of the resident who weren't impacted for the flooding as much as others.

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