Friday, June 27, 2008
T-shirts are for sale to help with flood relief for Columbus Junction and Louisa County.
The CJ Gazette has t-shirts for sale that the money will go into a fund to help Louisa County,the 3 cities of CJ, Wapello, and Oakville.
The business "Simply Soothing" is making t-shirts for sale to help the flood relief in Columbus Junction. They will custom make the shirt with various pictures from the flood. They also have Flood Survival baseball caps.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Columbus Junction farmers market has relocated due to the flood. The market will be held at the American Legion parking lot, 99 2nd St. Columbus Junction on Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm until further notice. The Columbus Junction market is the only farmers market in Louisa County and is certified by the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship (IDALS) to accept Senior Nutrition Coupons and WIC vouchers. New vendors are always welcome. For more information about the Columbus Junction farmers market please contact Mallory Smith or Nitza Lopez-Castillo, Columbus Junction Community Development Center at 319-728-7971 or email@example.com.
The flood waters that recently wrecked havoc in Columbus Junction, Iowa left residents and visitors high and dry for places to eat. That is an unusual occurrence for this little town of 1,900 that boasts thirteen restaurants and three bars. The high water closed four of the town's food establishments and left nine more with tables empty, under a boil order while the city's water treatment plant was restored to normal operating conditions. On Saturday morning the boil order was lifted and cooks immediately began chopping, mixing and frying. Customers weren't far behind. People were happy to enjoy again their favorite culinary treats that in Columbus Junction range from huevos rancheros to apple pie.
The flood of 2008 created a small business disaster for this Southeast Iowa community. High water directly or indirectly affected nearly every business in the city, almost all of which are small family-owned enterprises. The easternmost portion of the downtown business district was under water for days. Over two dozen businesses and organizations are now facing the tasks of clean up, repairs or perhaps rebuilding. Businesses above the flooded area felt the effects too due to the boil order and closed highways that left the city inaccessible from the east and north for a week. Fortunately homeowners fared better and less than 10 houses were damaged.
Even now, while water is still being pumped out of the Fairgrounds, the economic recovery effort is underway. Elias Gutierrez, Executive Director for Louisa Development Group, a countywide economic development organization, is heading up efforts to connect business owners with resources such as FEMA, Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). "It's vital to have these businesses up and running again. They provide jobs, pay taxes and contribute a lot to our economy," stated Gutierrez.
City officials are hopeful that the spirit of sandbagging will extend to shopping locally. The city's largest grocery store, Economart, was underwater and is closed. Residents are being encouraged to shop at the three Hispanic markets that carry full product lines including grocery items, produce, meat, dairy, and cleaning supplies. Another option being presented is to make the trip to Wapello, the county seat fifteen minutes away, where Economart's owners have a second location. "It's a very important time to shop locally, to help the economy and show community pride," declares Mallory Smith, Columbus Junction Community Development Director.
# # #
Monday, June 23, 2008
These informational meetings include updates on road and flood conditions in Louisa County; the latest updates on food, housing and other services; updates on aid and question and answer sessions.
The public is welcome to attend. Meetings will continue nightly until the need is met.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
There had been bicycle traffic allowed on 61 to accommodate commuters, but that has now been restricted again because of work underway.
Highway 92 in Columbus Junction could open again soon depending on a number of factors.
Construction of a new bridge in Coppock was already underway before the floods came through.
Throughout today, more birds-eye view shots will be posted as we upload them.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Do you have photos to submit? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have photos of flooding (especially in Washington, Keokuk, or Louisa County?) Send them to: email@example.com
Include the photographers name,when it was taken and what exactly it is a picture of.
* Willow Ave north of 130th Street east of Riverside
* 130th Street east of old 218 southeast of Riverside
* 150th Street near the Johnson-Washington County line southeast of Riverside
Here is the County Secondary Roads Dept list of roads closed.
Reminder: Highway 22 east of Riverside is also still closed.
Here is what they contain.
Drop off donations or call the church 653-5446.
An earlier post indicated the Louisa County Sheriff's office found the body of 35 year old Scott McCulley of Grandview after he had been reported missing; he was found Sunday afternoon on a search using boats. Autopsy results are still pending, but Sergeant Josh Helscher believes the cause of death is drowning.
To those wishing to make a cash donation please mail them to:
United Fund of Columbus Junction
P.O. Box 263
Columbus Junction, Iowa, 52738
Or you can drop them off to Nitza at the Community Development Center office in the New Civic Center across from City Hall or you can drop your check off at any of the two banks downtown Columbus Junction. Please mark your checks Flood Relief 2008.
A day of sunshine after the darkness of record floods. Iowa National Guard Specialist E-4 Curtis Lloyd Wright, 3655 CRC, 1st Detachment and Danielle Ritter will be getting married early Thursday afternoon (Exact time yet to be determined) on the Highway 92 viaduct in Columbus Junction, Iowa overlooking the scenic flood waters of the Iowa River. Both the Bride and Groom are from Macksburg, Iowa. The Groom is currently on deployment in Columbus Junction for Flood duty. The National Guard Chaplin will be performing the ceremony.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Call and set up a time at 319-523-5320
This information from Kathy Vance at Louisa County ISU Extension
>Dr. Wever, Integrity Dental, will be working from Dr. Helscher’s office in Washington for the next 3-4 weeks.
>Dr. Englert has temporarily relocated to the former City Hall in Columbus City.
>Hy-Vee Drug Store is operating out of their Wapello location.
>Columbus Medical Clinic will set up a temporary location at Roundy Elementary starting June 20th.
>The Community Health Center does not yet have a temporary location.
>The sale of prepared foods and beverages is suspended in Columbus Junction until the State Government approves the water system for commercial food preparation. But 92 Roadhouse is open.
Producers in Washington and other counties contiguous to the presidential disaster designated counties are eligible for these low-interest Emergency Loans.
FSA Emergency loan funds may be used to:
* Restore or replace essential property;
* Pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year;
* Pay essential family living expenses;
* Reorganize the farming operation; and
* Refinance certain debts.
Those in other presidential disaster declared counties may be eligible for the Emergency Conservation Program or ECP.
Twenty Oakville families she says are staying at trailer court in Wapello, and they need household items:
Also, they could use two more refrigerators.
Call her at 319-257-6856, or bring items to 405 South Locust in Winfield, and Robin will deliver them.
Below is from Patrick O’Malley, ISU Extension Horticulturist:
If the flooding is from primarily pooled rainwater they should be alright following previously sent precautions. However if it is from river, creek, or other source that may be contain raw sewage such as untreated release from city wastewater plants, septic systems, or livestock facilities, the general recommendation is to avoid using those garden areas for 90 days.
* Locust Street in the city of Coppock
* Nutmeg Ave and Poplar Blvd southeast of Kalona
Want the full list of county roads closed and other road information? County roads website
Jenny Vinzant, Associate Donor Resource Consultant from Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center has this related announcement:
Columbus Junction is scheduled to host a drive from 1:30 - 6:30 p.m. tomorrow (June 18th) at the Legion Hall. However, the flooding has caused the Legion to be utilized as a sandbagging station and we were left to find an alternate location. The Columbus City Masonic Lodge has graciously allowed MVRBC to use the building in order to continue blood collections.
- Date: Wednesday, June 18th
- Hours: 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Location: Columbus City Masonic Lodge - Corner of Columbus and Market Streets - Columbus City, IA 52737
- Goal: 40 units of blood
*As the flood waters have challenged our coordination and planning of this drive, we are relying on walk-in donors to fill our time slots and meet our goal; no need to call to schedule an appointment.
Associate Donor Resource Consultant
Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center
(Cicalo will also talk about the effort to move Colonial Manor residents to Washington on KCII's Washington Page at 7:30 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. on KCII AM 1380 FM 106.1)
The tragedy of flooding that affects nearby Columbus Junction and Riverside, Coralville, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids if foremost on our minds. Many Washington Citizens have responded by lending assistance. The city of Washington provides potable water. The city’s fire department has connected a hose to nearby Tyson Foods as the facility has water treatment ability to aide Columbus Junction residents and we lent assistance evacuate nursing home residents to a Washington facility by mobilizing Washington County Minibus.
There is much to say about this last weekend, we were working hard, but how do you compare our efforts to those who lose their homes and livelihoods? We do it by working just as hard the next day and the next, to assist, rebuild to see our neighboring communities thriving once again. In that, I wish to thank all of you who have volunteered your time. Mayor Wilson, of Columbus Junction also wanted you to know how much he appreciated your effort. I wish to also note and thank the drivers and staff of W.C. Minibus who were eager to answer the call for assistance.
Mayor Rick Cicalo
Monday, June 16, 2008
National Guard soldiers stationed at the Washington Armory are doing well in general for donations of food and supplies. But, Specialist Rhonda Radosevich says that after a long day of flood response work, some soldiers would appreciate recreational donations: footballs, Frisbees, playing cards, etc.
Iowa State University Extension is holding two more Emergency Crop Production Programs on Wednesday, June 18.
ISU Extension Linn County office will host a program 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the office located at 3279 7th Ave., Suite 140, Marion. The other program will be hosted at the ISU Extension Washington County office, 2223 250 St., Washington, from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Each program will feature individuals with a wide range of expertise. The topics include:
- Economic Issues including crop insurance government payment issues
- Livestock Issues
- Crop Issues
The program is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required.
James Fawcett , Field Specialist, (319) 337-2145, firstname.lastname@example.org
However, a BOIL ORDER is in effect for both cities. Also, bottled water is available at Columbus High School.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
C.J. flooding photos
Highway 92 was lined with a "wall of sand" last Wednesday.
Looking east from the top of the hill
here is the scene Sunday morning.
Have photos of local flooding? Email them to email@example.com
No unauthorized boats on the English, Skunk, or Iowa Rivers
Saturday, June 14, 2008
These items are especially needed to be donated; drop them off any time of the day:
-ice (they need plenty)
-personal-sized hand sanitizer
-individual packaged snacks like granola bars (or other "grab and go" snacks)
Baked goods are not as useful as the items listed above.
* Nutmeg Ave and Poplar Blvd southeast of Kalona
Dogwood Ave at McKains Access northwest of Brighton
* 250th Street northeast of Ainsworth
* Willow Ave north of 130th Street east of Riverside
* Locust Street in the city of Coppock
* 130th Street east of old 218
* 150th Street near the Johnson-Washington County line
Residents encountering flooded roadways should turn around and not attempt to drive through water. Residents may contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 319-653-2107 if they encounter additional flooded roadways.
This is the County Secondary roads website for closed roads.
They no longer want people to use the water in Columbus Junction, although it is not contaminated. Columbus City is having their water shut off.
Some people's homes will likely be abandoned to rising water, some may be seeking shelter. Wilson says that city leaders and officials are meeting to assess the next step.
All roads leading north and east of Columbus Junction, Wapello and Oakville are closed. That includes Highway 61, Highway 70 and County Road X-61, (which is Stewart Road), and all other secondary roads.
This situation could last many days and possibly more than a week according to the Louisa County Sheriff.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Code Red Alert from the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office states there is a mandatory evacuation of Oakville and surrounding bottoms. This includes areas north of the Hawkeye Dolby Ditch to the Iowa River Bridge West of Oakville. Residents must be evacuated by 8 a.m. Monday (6/16/2008) morning. Officers ask that you place a white piece of paper on the front door to let them know the residence has indeed been evacuated. National Guard are being sent to the area for security. Please remember:
Solid Rock Baptist Church 14041 Locust Street, Wapello, 523-5320
- Will be a local shelter 24/7
- Will be serving 2 meals a day at noon and evening
- They will be serving residents needs through the duration of the flood and until it is
safe for families to return to their homes
- They are setting up mobile shower and laundry facilities
- You may go just for meals or showering even if you do not need to stay at the shelter
- They currently do not need supply support as they are being supported by the Red Cross
The roads between Washington and Columbus Junction remains open.
This information is from the Washington Chamber of Commerce:
Riverside Casino & Golf Resort is organizing volunteers to help sandbag in various locations that are in need of assistance. A shuttle will provide transportation to and from the work sites, departing from the casino on:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Depart at 8 a.m. and return at 12:30 p.m.
Depart at 1:00 p.m. and return at 4:30 p.m.
Depart at 5:00 p.m. and return at 9:30 p.m.
· Volunteers need to meet in front of the security desk or at the employee entrance of the casino (East side of the building) before the departure times.
· Please wear boots and gloves, and bring a shovel if you have one.
Food donations, fruit, baked goods, cases of water, Gatorade, lemonade, paper plates, cups, napkins, plastic dinnerware. Ziplock bags
Toiletries, (shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, deodorant) as they may be here for several weeks. Some have only packed for a couple of days. Joyce Dickerson says they would gladly accept monetary donations to help with the cost of supplies as well.
Anyone who would like to help can email Joyce Dickerson(firstname.lastname@example.org) or donations may be dropped off at the armory across from HyVee at any time.
Here are other Washington County road announcements:
Washington road closings. This link will be updated frequently today (Friday) by Washington County Secondary Roads.