June 18 news

WORTHINGTON – The city of Worthington is helping residents with the clean-up from the storms that went through by picking up branches next week. City Administrator Craig Clark said the service will be provided at no charge, but residents are responsible for getting the branches out to boulevards in time for the pick-up.

Branches must be at the curb Monday by 7 a.m. Clark said the crews hope to have the branches all picked up by Wednesday, but it is a one-shot deal, so once a crew goes through a neighborhood, they will not be back.

The city does ask that debris is limited to branches from the recent storm. Anyone with questions can call city hall at 372-8600.

CURRIE - End O Line Railroad Park in Currie is temporarily closed due to flood waters. The park will open as soon as waters recede. For updates, go to www.endoline.com. According to Murray County Community Relations Coordinator Christy Riley, the park will likely remain closed until at least Friday.

The Slayton County Club is also closed until further notice, except for social hours at the clubhouse Tuesday and Wednesday nights, because of flooding issues with Beaver Creek, which runs through the course.

ROCK RAPIDS, Iowa – The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning declared no travel was allowed in the county as of 8:30 a.m. This included gravel, blacktops and state highways in Lyon County. Authorities report there are bridges washed out and water over roads.

Also, all drinking water must be boiled before use.

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa – In Rock Valley Iowa, Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo on Tuesday declared a state of emergency. The river is expected to crest sometime today.

The City of Rock Valley is requesting all residents to limit their usage of water and waste water until further notice.

Please stay off the roads. If you are not volunteering, stay off city streets to allow emergency services to provide assistance to those who need it the most.

All residents with water and/or sewer backup in basements or low lying areas that need assistance in relocating and/or moving belongings are instructed to call the City Office at: 712-476-5707

Residents are instructed to use extreme caution around electrical services and shut off your power if you are experiencing water and/or sewer back up in your house.

WORTHINGTON – An updated tobacco ordinance prohibiting the sale of blunt wraps, roll-your-own machines and imitation tobacco products and updating the license application process for retailers was approved Tuesday afternoon by the Nobles County Commissioners after a well-attended public hearing.

Since the dissolution of Nobles-Rock Community Health, Nobles County has been operating without a tobacco policy. The city of Worthington had requested the county put an ordinance in place.

Under the new ordinance, no new licenses to sell tobacco products will be allowed within 1,000 feet of any schools. Any existing businesses already selling products within those parameters will be grandfathered in.

Their main focus, Nobles County Public Health Administrator Terri Janssen told the commissioners, is to protect youth from harmful effects of use or exposure.

In other business, the commissioners authorized Nobles County Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder to push a bridge replacement project on County State Aid Highway 1 to the forward, delaying the repavement of Dundee’s Main Street.

Schnieder said the bridge was restricted this spring, and trucks have to detour 6 to 12 miles out of the way, while the road in Dundee has a gravel base and is open to all traffic. If the funding can be obtained, Schnieder said the bridge project could be done in late August or September.

WORTHINGTON – A Cohasset man suffered non-life threatening injuries Tuesday when his 2008 Harley-Davidson motorcycle collided with a deer while he was riding on Minnesota 60 south of Worthington. Frank Scherf, age 56, was taken to Sanford Worthington for treatment. The bike was totaled.

MILFORD, Iowa -- The Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District says Monday's extremely heavy rains forced it to bypass some wastewater into the Iowa Great Lakes.

Sanitary District officials say the bypasses took place in the area of Seaman Point near 28th Street into East Lake Okoboji and in the Templar Park area of Big Spirit Lake. Steve Anderson of the Iowa Great Lakes Sanitary District says crews worked through the night to minimize bypasses and to make sure generators kept running at lift stations.

He says any environmental impact should be minimal as the wastewater was heavily diluted with rain water. But as a precaution Anderson says people and pets should stay away from the areas of the discharges for at least 48 hours.

NORTHWEST IOWA - Recent heavy rains are impacting some drinking water systems in the region.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the drinking water plant in Rock Rapids had to shut down its clear well after it became inundated with water. The agency says Lyon and Sioux Rural Water have had stream crossings washed out and are re-routing water to try to maintain pressure. Rock Rapids and the Rock Rapids subsystem of Lyon and Sioux Rural Water have issued boil warnings as the rural system buys part of its water from Rock Rapids. The Rock River near Rock Rapids was 26 feet high at noon Tuesday, up from less than 10 feet on June 14th. Flood stage is 13 feet.

Rock Valley lost power to three of its four wells, but was still operating on one well.

In Wahpeton, the water plant has lost power, but the city is buying water from Milford, enabling the system to meet demand and maintain pressure.

Iowa Lakes Regional Water had one stream crossing washed out. A small portion of the system was without water and those customers were under a boil advisory after service was restored.

In Hawarden, the city was sandbagging to protect two wells, but is meeting demand with remaining wells.

NORTHWEST IOWA — The governor of Iowa is in northwest Iowa today to survey flood damage.

Governor Terry Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for five counties in response to storms: Among them are Lyon, Sioux, and Plymouth Counties. Also in the proclamation are Cedar and Pocahontas counties.

The Governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to prepare for, respond to and recover from the effects of storms and flooding. These resources may be used for flood protection or the removal of debris on publicly-owned or privately-owned land that may threaten public health and safety.

Here are some of the resources that have been deployed to date through Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management:

In Lyon County
• Three 3-inch pumps (two to Rock Rapids, one to George)
• Officer support for traffic control (from the Iowa Department of Public Safety)

In Plymouth County
• 20,000 sandbags

In Sioux County
• 250,000 sandbags
• Sand from Iowa Department of Transportation to Rock Valley
• Urban Search and rescue team to assist with possible rescues

The State Emergency Operations Center is now partially staffed, and the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Governor’s Office report that they continue to closely monitor the situation.

Branstad and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD) Director Mark Schouten will survey damage in Lyon and Sioux counties today, June 18, 2014, beginning at approximately 11:30 AM in Rock Rapids. Following the tour in Rock Rapids, the pair will travel to Rock Valley.

HULL, Iowa — The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office is looking for the public’s help to try to find a man who they believe may have been involved in an assault.

They say that it started with the report of a domestic assault in a vehicle in Hull. That report was called in about 3:20 AM, early on Sunday, June 15th.

Upon further investigation, deputies discovered that Angel Ortiz, who is approximately between 35-45 years old, and from Hull, allegedly assaulted a female victim in a black Oldsmobile Alero. Following the assault, Ortiz left the area and could not be found. The Oldsmobile has Minnesota license plates.

The victim sustained injuries and sought treatment at the Sioux Center Health Hospital.
Ortiz is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’ 10” tall, weighing 185‐200 lbs. He likely has a mustache or a goatee.

If you know the whereabouts of Angel Ortiz, any witnesses, or have any information about this investigation, you are asked to contact the sheriff’s office. If you wish to remain anonymous you may use the Text-A-Tip program. Directions can be found at siouxcountysheriff.com.

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