Flooding: Emergency Management Coordinator Interview

I wrote two stories yesterday about flooding and flood-related issues in Minnesota and Iowa, and talked to so many people and had so many notes afterward that I didn’t use all of them. Today I’m following up on the Lower Gar Lake outlet-Milford story, but figured I’d take a few minutes to type up a summary of my extra, unused notes.

Most of them are from an interview with Mike Ehret, the Emergency Management Coordinator of Dickinson County, Iowa. He deferred to the Dickinson County attorney about the road excavation, but was quite willing to talk to me about the other flooding issues.

"The (Little Sioux River) is running very high right now," Ehret said. "It really started going up last week. It’s been rising; we crossed flood stage, which is 12 feet, on the 11th or 12th of March. It’s been rising fairly steadily since then."

Ehret also noted a lot of ice had been running through the river in the past couple of days, which likely had contributed to the flooding.

"The river here, when it floods, it doesn’t affect any homes, businesses or anything. It’s strictly agricultural land, fields and that," Ehret said.

He believed the river flooding was typical for spring, though a little higher than usual, and said the county was keeping a very close eye on the water levels.

"We just keep our eyes on it, and watch those roads that are in danger of being overtopped, and pretty much just babysit it, really, until it goes back down."