The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

June 5, 2013

Flash flood victims not alone

(Continued)

OTTUMWA —

The next step in maintaining the levee system is implementing the $16 million FEMA grant the city received last year, which will go toward the West End Sewer Separation Project, as well as the installation of a flood wall around the water plant, construction of a storm water pump station and updated gate well structures in the existing levee that will convey overland storm water into the Des Moines River.

Engineers are halfway through the design phase.

"The main backbone will take 450 acres of that 650-acre basin off," Seals said. "Then we'll have the pressure system take approximately 350 acres to the river and about 100 to 120 acres ... pumped over the levee."

This will help protect the Gateway Drive area, which was flooded out during last week's rainfall.

"And the main north side box is the main culprit as far as flooding Water Works," he said.

Wapello County Emergency Management coordinator Josh Stevens said his department put in a request in to Iowa Homeland Security to enact the Iowa Individual Assistance Program in the county.

He also encourages those finding damage to their homes to continue reporting them, since every time he receives information on damages, he passes that on to the state, which could then result in more funding.

Fire Chief Tony Miller said his department helped with a partial collapse of a building as well as evacuating people on the west end last week. Police Chief Tom McAndrew said there were no major problems besides people driving through water and getting stranded.

"We had at one time over 10 cars stranded in the water," he said.

Ned Van Nostrand, of SIEDA's housing department, is also working on providing state assistance for flash flood victims. So far, two disaster declarations cover Wapello County: one on April 19 for which the application deadline is June 20, the other for storms on or after May 19, for which the application deadline currently is July 16.

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