Sunday, August 7, 2011

Missouri River flooding

A few weeks back, I drove to western Iowa for work and stopped in Missouri Valley to fuel up my car.  Next door to the gas station was my favorite restaurant, Pizza Ranch, surrounded by sandbags.  The sign outside read: "Yes, we're open."

Missouri Valley is tucked in the scenic Loess Hills of western Iowa, just a few short miles from the Missouri River.

Iowa is anything but flat. It's home to one of only two Loess hill formations in the world.
Fortunately, Missouri Valley missed out on the predicted flooding from the nearby Missouri River.  I stopped in this Missouri Valley McDonald's on the way home for an iced latte caffeine jolt. The drive-thru was closed because of the 3-foot-tall sandbag barricade.

Unfortunately, many western Iowa towns didn't escape the flooding, including parts of Sioux City, Omaha and the small community of Hamburg.  The flooding started in June and continues today.  That means farmers and local residents have been separated from their homes for more than two months, and the flooding is projected to continue through October.  There hasn't been that much in the national news about this flooding, which is too bad it's not getting the attention it deserves.  Many families have lost their homes and prime farmland on an unprecedented scale.

If you want to learn more about the Missouri River flooding and its impact on farmers, I recommend visiting Sara's House HD to see aerial photos of the flood zone.  My prayers go out to all the families involved.  You are not forgotten, and you'll always find friends willing to help provide what you need.

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