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The Governor of Iowa has officially declared a disaster in Sioux County after heavy rainfall caused record-breaking flooding in the area.

During a media briefing, Governor Kim Reynolds announced that 250 water rescues were conducted on Saturday, and over 1,000 residents needed overnight shelter. Reynolds issued a Disaster Proclamation for Sioux County, directing state resources to assist Rock Valley and other communities. On social media, she emphasized her commitment to using state resources and coordinating with federal agencies to aid recovery efforts. Reynolds also shared images of the damage, taken during an aerial survey on Saturday.


This comes after the region experienced up to 15 inches of rain, leading to severe flooding. Rivers in the area crested several feet above the record levels set during the 1993 floods, with 16 flood gauges registering historic highs. By Saturday, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources reported significant impacts, with 10 water systems and 21 wastewater systems affected.

In Rock Valley, the region received 15 inches of rain within 72 hours, causing the Rock River to reach a depth of over 27 feet—five feet higher than the previous record. A levee breach led to evacuations north of Highway 18. Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo mentioned that some stranded residents were rescued by boat, describing the excessive rainfall that the saturated ground could no longer absorb.

In addition to northwest Iowa, regions in west-central Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota are also under a hazardous weather outlook.


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