The levees near the banks of the Missouri River in Mills County are no longer in the hands of the Iowa National Guard.
The guard’s mission in Mills County officially ended last Wednesday, Aug. 31, with the demobilization of 30 soldiers. Iowa National Guard personnel had been patrolling 26 miles of levee in Mills County since June 23. Working in teams of two, the soldiers were responsible for inspecting the levee system on a daily basis, flagging sand boils, varmint holes and potential trouble spots that could compromise the integrity of the levees. They were also responsible for security.
“We have certainly appreciated the assistance provided here in Mills County by the Army National Guard,” Mills County Emergency Management Director Larry Hurst said. “Their dedication to the mission and ongoing surveillance of our levee system has been invaluable.”
The majority of soldiers assigned to Mills County were from the 1168th Transportation Co., based out of Perry, Audubon and Marshalltown.
With the National Guard personnel gone, levee monitoring is now in the hands of local levee and drainage district staff and Emergency Management Agency officials.
Hurst said there are currently no large repair projects underway on the Mills County levee system, however, ground water continues to be an issue. The Aug. 23 breach of the south berm of the St. Mary’s Drainage District located south of Allis Road and west of 182nd St. in northwestern Mills County has created a significant increase in ground water.
“Water continues to drain from that ditch, moving south and east,” Hurst said. “The Emergency Operations Team will continue to monitor the situation and will take any appropriate actions necessary to assure the safety of Mills County residents.”
Hurst noted that only authorized personnel are allowed on the levees and trespassers face a $500 federal fine.
Mills County residents affected by flooding are encouraged to contact the Mills County Flood Hotline at 527-4231 to access financial assistance programs and other resources. Information is also available online at www.millscountyflood.org.