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Closed: DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge prepares for flooding from Missouri River

Posted at 6:42 PM, Jun 27, 2024

MISSOURI VALLEY, IA (KMTV) — It's usually a sanctuary for birds, a place to observe wildlife, but now it's preparing for Mother Nature's worst. Refuge Manager Tom Cox said DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is prepared for the flooding.

"Our wildlife has evolved around these floods along the rivers and floodplains. It's just a cycle that we go through," said Cox.

Cox and other refuge officials like Peter Rea have been preparing all week, putting out signs and securing the nearly 2,000 artifacts in its museum. Rea said it's something that needs to be protected.

"They're priceless, you can't replace them. And they require a specific temperature, humidity," said Rea.

He is no stranger to the flood prep and the flooding. He was here when DeSoto was flooded back in 2019 and 2011.

"You try not to dwell too much on the frustration and focus on what you can do," he said.

Right now, roughly 10 feet of water is built up behind the levee at DeSoto.

"It's kind of humbling when you see the power of the river and how small we are really in this equation," said Cox.

Cox said it's expected to crest sometime Thursday evening, hoping this time around it isn't worse than 2019 and 2011.

"I hope it's going to get better. But, hope is a bad business plan,' said Cox.

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