Rail Bridge Collapses in Iowa Amid Severe Flooding and Heat Wave

Two people have been killed, a train bridge has fallen, and water is pouring over a dam in America’s Midwest as a result of the flooding that has occurred following days of torrential rainfall. 

South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska have all seen floodwaters rise, and more rain is on the way. Several rivers could reach their crest later this week. 

Thirteen rivers have already overflowed in northwest Iowa, forcing the evacuation of whole towns and communities. According to Governor Kim Reynolds, a disaster has been declared for twenty-one counties in northern Iowa, including Sioux County.

Around four thousand people lived in the small South Dakota town of Dakota Dunes, and officials there asked them to evacuate. In the event that flood barriers are broken, they cautioned inhabitants that an immediate evacuation may be necessary. Severe flooding in the southern region of South Dakota blocked many routes, prompting Gov. Kristi Noem to declare an emergency.

During a massive and persistent heat wave, the floods made life even more miserable for those in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. From St. Paul, Minnesota, to Omaha, Nebraska, almost three million people call flood-affected areas home. From Thursday through Saturday, heavy rains fell. The National Weather Service reported 18 inches of precipitation south of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Floodwaters are slowly draining down a network of rivers to the Missouri and Mississippi, and many streams may not reach their crest until later this week. Additional rain is predicted. A hydrologist from the meteorological service, Kevin Low, has predicted that the Missouri River would reach its highest point in Omaha on Thursday. 

In an effort to prevent floods, South Dakota has constructed a berm over Interstate 29, temporarily closing the highway. The flooding has caused damage to roads and bridges, closure or destruction of enterprises, evacuation of hospitals and nursing homes, and a lack of power and safe drinking water. 

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials are present in Iowa, and President Joe Biden’s homeland security staff has apprised him of the situation.