Council Bluffs residents assess damage as second round of storms loom

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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- There’s a lot of high water in Council Bluffs following Tuesday’s first round of storms. By afternoon, water was beginning to recede, but not before it left quite a mess.

Residents in Council Bluffs are hoping the skies won’t open up again — at least until neighbohoods recover from early morning storms.

Earlier on Tuesday, the water in Jason Honing’s neighborhood was so high, his neighbors had to leave.

“They’ve been gone since 3 o’clock this morning, I guess” Honing said. “(People) ask, ‘How bad did it get?’ You can see the line in their house. It was going in their windows down there.”

“It’s happened one other time before — two other times maybe,” he said. “I’ve never had it come in there yet, but it’s been really, really close.”

Right now, at Tom Hanafan Riverside Park, there’s more river than park. And you can bet no one will be using this parking lot at Harrah’s Casino for a while.

“We took in an inch or so, plus, of rain, and … we did have some west-end flooding,” Honing said.

All of this is keeping officials at the Pottawattamie County Emergency Management Agency very busy, and they’re also preparing for the next round of storms

“Mother Nature is going to do what it’s going to do, so there are things we’re currently preparing for,” said Michell Bose, with Pott County Emergency Management. “So we’re making sure we’re on top of everything to see how much if rivers are going to rise, or if they’re not.”

Some people are pumping water out of their homes, but for many, all of this water is basically an inconvenience.

“I couldn’t get my lift to come over here, so I have to go walk all the way down,” Bose said.

Tuesday morning, Fetherstone Apartments manager Ashley Carey takes a ride to check out what the storms left behind. Almost all the water here is confined to the parking lot.

“The garages will have some damage, but they’ll get dried out,” she said. “In 20 years, we never had anything go to the units.”

Across town, the water did get into Dan Marshall’s basement; he’s pumping water out — he’s done this before.

“This is the third, probably, close-call that I’ve had where it was almost up to the foundation," he said. "Of course, that was the old basement; (in) 2011, that was a scare.”

Jerry Bonet had to take a chance and drive his car through high water. He’s going to his mother’s house to check out that water damage there.

“She wanted me to come look at it for the insurance guy,” he said.

The water in front of Russ Bates’ Council Bluffs home has gone down quite a bit; an open manhole cover might be helping with the drainage there.

“I went to work this morning, and when I came back, I came down Benson over there,” he said. “My truck is pretty high, and it was coming in my doors.”

“This is the worst I’ve seen it,” he said. “I think the storm drains just can’t handle it. There’s one coming through down there now.”

Right now, people here are just waiting and hoping for the best.

“Just waiting for the next round — supposed to be getting here soon, I heard.”