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In Council Bluffs, neighbors happy to see flood water recede: 'Hanafan Park was designed to flood'

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jul 05, 2024

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) — Waters along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs are receding, but parts of River's Edge Park are still closed. One thing noticeable to neighbors, now — the smell.

  • "I don’t think it will take long for that to subside also but between the rotting stuff and just the sewage that’s been in the river, it’s, you know, it's a little smelly,” Carol Horner said.
  • Friday was sunny and metro area residents enjoyed the sunshine along the river. Aleks Dinaro and Brendon Allen live in downtown Omaha and were riding their Onewheel boards along the river.
  • “At least in Omaha and, right here, across the bridge in Council Bluffs. We had it pretty easy, I’d say,” said Aleks Dinaro.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

The barriers are still up and there’s still some standing water along the Missouri River but that hasn’t stopped neighbors in Council Bluffs from getting out and enjoying the sunshine. I’m your Southwest Iowa neighborhood reporter, Katrina Markel.

And I spoke to some folks who say they know the river is just going to do this sometimes.

“Hanafan Park was designed to flood.”

Carol Horner lives along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs.

“I have the best backyard in all of Council Bluffs...”

Remembering past floods, Horner says she wasn’t worried about the flood mitigation in Council Bluffs this time around, but...

“It’s the smell. I don’t think it will take long for that to subside also but between the rotting stuff and just the sewage that’s been in the river, it’s, you know, it’s a little smelly,” Horner said.

Nebraskans Margie Polenz and Alan Kohles said it’s the first time they’ve seen the flooding on the Iowa side of the river, but one of their favorite spots in Bellevue has been underwater.

Kohles: “We saw that it was all the way out of its bank over there, so it’s crazy.”

Polenz: “And Hayward Park is a place that we just love to eat our dinners there and it's just all underwater. And it just almost makes me cry.”

“At least in Omaha and right here, across the bridge in Council Bluffs. We had it pretty easy, I’d say,” said Aleks Dinaro.

Dinaro and Brendon Allen live in downtown Omaha ride their Onewheel boards along the river.

Katrina Markel: “Did it get in the way of being able to...?”

Brendon Allen: “Ride? Definitely. There was different routes, streets were closing down...”

I talked to Dennis Dofner, the manager of the streets and sewers division with Council Bluffs Public Works. He says some roadways remained closed. Big Lake Road still has three feet of water over it.

The good news: with Missouri River levels receding, other bodies of water like Indian and Mosquito creeks are also going down.

Aleks Dinaro: “So now we’re glad that’s going away so hopefully we’ll be able to get back down there at some point.”