Agencies team up to rescue those who did not evacuate Missouri Valley

Willow Creek waters rising near Missouri Valley, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Residents...
Willow Creek waters rising near Missouri Valley, Iowa, on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Residents were advised to evacuate the area. (WOWT)
Published: Mar. 14, 2019 at 3:36 PM CDT
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About 1,000 people had to evacuate from Missouri Valley because of flood waters, but not everyone heeded the warnings.

Officials in Missouri Valley made about a dozen rescues on Thursday.

A rescue boat from Blair and one from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources were traveling door to door to help those who did not evacuate.

"We found two occupants that were in the residence. It took some time to get into the residence because of the water. Once we got in we got them out along with a pet," Blair Fire Chief Joe Leonard said. "Yes, there was water in the house. Probably about waist deep in the house."

Both of those people were taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"There were a few people that didn't heed the warning. Just said we can ride this out, and later determined they couldn't, so we're having to send boat crews to come in and get them," Missouri Valley Mayor Shawn Kelly said. "We strongly encourage citizens to heed those evacuations. Water tables can change drastically in a very short amount of time, not giving you the opportunity to get out. Once that happens it's going to come up quick."

The has been no update yet on the conditions of the two people who were rescued.

Rescue crews did go back into that high water to check more homes in the south part of town.

"They were able to go door-to-door to find patients that we weren't aware of. Some people we knew were in their homes, some we did not. And they waved us down as we were driving around honking horns and putting off the sirens," Missouri Valley Fire Chief Caleb Wohlers said.

Jerry and Elaine Nielsen did evacuate. They said they grabbed a few things and ran out to the Rand Center where the Red Cross was helping evacuees.

"It flooded us again in '93," Elaine Nielsen said.

The couple lost everything that was in their basement that time around.

"We got evacuated yesterday because we were afraid it was going to break, and today it broke north of town, there on the east side, so they evacuated us again. Gave us an hour-and-a-half to get out," Jerry Nielsen said.

About a dozen other local agencies headed to Missouri Valley to help with the rescues.