A mandatory evacuation order was issued today by the Mills County Board of Supervisors and Mills County Emergency Management. The evacuation area includes the following: west of Interstate 29 (I-29) and South of Gaston Avenue to the Fremont County Line. Due to the rise of interior ground water east of the Mills County Levee system, various roads in this area are becoming impassable.
The levee system in Mills County is currently patrolled by the Iowa Army National Guard, the levee and drainage district staff and Mills County Emergency Management. There are no immediate threats from the levee system at this time.
Residents in the evacuation area are required to evacuate as soon as possible, but no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, June 24. An emergency Red Cross shelter has been established at East Mills High School, located at 1410 Main Street in Malvern.
If residents in this area need assistance with the evacuation process, please contact the following agencies: Mills County Communication Center at 527-4871 or Mills County Public Health at 527-4231.
A copy of the mandatory evacuation order and evacuation routes is being hand delivered to each residence in the affected area. Road closures caused by water over the road include 195th Street, south of US Highway 34, Kane Avenue West of 190th Street, Karnes Road and Nims Road. Kane at 190th Street is closed S. bound due to railroad construction.
Additional information on road closures is available on the Mills County website at www.millscoia.us. US Hwy 34 and the Plattsmouth Bridge are open at this time; however there is ongoing construction at the I-29 overpass.
Local officials will begin the process of shutting off utilities in the mandatory evacuation area beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 24. Individual home owners can also request utility shut off by contacting their utility company.
The Mills County Emergency Management Team continues to work together to prepare for the potential of severe flooding in the western part of the county. Prevention measures are occurring in multiple locations throughout the levee system in Mills County. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues their repair of multiple sandboils on the levee south of Highway 370. This project has required significant truck traffic in that levee area and is expected to continue into the near future.
Additional work will be underway at the Bellevue Bridge to strengthen some areas of potential levee erosion. The levee system north of the Plattsmouth Bridge is consistently showing at least 3 feet of freeboard at this time. The Army Corps of Engineers has advised Mills County officials of the failure of a drainage pump located two miles south of the Plattsmouth Bridge. This drainage station handles the runoff from Pony Creek and Keg Creek. At this time, the drainage pipes have been blocked by sandbags to prevent backflow of river water to the dry side of the levee. This has resulted in the accumulation of drainage and seepage water will significantly increase the risk of lowland flooding. At this time, there is no indication of overtopping on the Levees in Mills County.
Residents are encouraged to call the Mills County Flood Center Hotline at 211 or access the website at www.millscoia.us for ongoing updates. Both options will provide additional information, help for those in need, opportunities for volunteer sign up and a place to list available resources. Code Red is an additional emergency notification system that will be important during this time and residents are encouraged to sign up on the website. Some area residents have decided to voluntarily leave their homes at this time.
Updated information will be provided through the website, through ongoing press releases and through information distributed to local governmental and community sites county-wide.