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IOWA FLOODS: Monona County residents watch and wait

'I have lakefront property now'
Posted at 7:37 PM, Jun 25, 2024

RODNEY, Iowa (KMTV) — Towns in Monona County, Iowa along the Little Sioux River are being evacuated as water levels rise. On Tuesday morning, the river broke through a levee near Rodney, a community of about 45 people.

  • “I have lakefront property now,” said Ray Thomas, outside his home in Rodney.
  • Thomas says he and his wife are packed up and ready if they need to evacuate. Others in the town have already left.
  • Monona County is using the Onawa Community Center as an emergency shelter. The Red Cross is there


A levee on the Little Sioux River broke about 8 am Tuesday morning outside Rodney in Monona County. I’m western Iowa neighborhood reporter Katrina Markel. Behind me is a campground that’s been inundated already. Some neighbors in Rodney have evacuated, others are keeping a watchful eye and preparing to leave.

“I have lakefront property now,” said Ray Thomas, outside his home in Rodney.

Thomas has a front-row seat to the flooding. He says authorities knocked on doors in Rodney around 3:30 Tuesday morning. Neighbors near the levee left right away. A few hours later, he watched as the levee broke. He and his wife are ready if they need to leave.

“All our to-go stuff in the vehicles. We got my motorcycle in the jeep ... as soon as we think it’s gonna get a little higher we’re gonna, we’re gonna leave,” said Thomas.

Two miles to south of Rodney, Tony Christophersen watched the water flowed near his home about 10 a.m., flooding a field of beans.

“Filled the field up as far as you can see there. Then, there’s kind of a little dike in the middle here. Here, about noon, it just crashed over the top of that and, within an hour it’s already fillin’ up down there,” said Christophersen.

He’s hoping his family won’t have to evacuate: “Just watchin’ to see if it’s gonna come this far. I don’t know.”

There was no power in the Rodney area on Tuesday afternoon, but Ray and Tony have generators to keep the air-conditioning running in the heat.

Monona County roads employees told us the levee breach measured about 60 feet.

Along the Missouri River, near the Decatur bridge, a mobile home park is underwater on the Iowa side, as the river tops its banks.

Water isn’t expected to crest in Monona County until about midnight, going into Wednesday morning, but it gives neighbors to the south an idea of what they could be facing in the coming days.

In Monona County, outside Rodney, I’m your western Iowa neighborhood reporter, Katrina Markel.