HEARTLAND FLOOD: Crucial levee repairs in Iowa delayed several weeks

BARTLETT, Iowa (WOWT) -- Heavy rainfall and more water from the north is delaying crucial levee repairs by weeks.

Corn spills out of a bin damaged by flooding near Bartlett, Iowa. (Tara Campbell / WOWT)

In Fremont County, small towns are seeing worse flooding than what they experienced back in March.

Waters rush across a Waubansie Avenue, leading into Bartlett, IA. In April, this was the only way into the town. There was water to pass through, but it was accessible.

Not anymore.

"The amount of floodwaters in Bartlett, McPaul, and Percival area, and west of Hamburg — there’s actually more water than there was during the initial flooding,” said Mike Crecelius, Fremont County Emergency Management coordinator.

Levee repairs that were well underway have been halted, setting work back by about three weeks.

"As of right now, they are working on the breach at Hamburg; but they have pulled the dredges of the breach at Percival, and are not working,” Crecelius said.

Dredging equipment is set up along the levee in the middle of the Missouri River, which could be making worker access there more difficult.

"Initially, we were told there were safety concerns between the weather and the height of the river,” Crecelius said. “Unfortunately, the height of the river's not going to go down anytime soon."

People who call these small towns along the Missouri River home, or who have businesses there, have no idea what they're going to be returning to by the time this is all over.

“At first, it was really hard,” said Dave Richter, who owns a scrapping business in Bartlett. "But as things continue on, and continue on, you can't dwell on what's going on."

He said he’s just trying to focus on each day as it comes.

"It's not stopping for a while, so you just got to keep on moving," he said.

Fremont County Emergency Management is set to meet with the Army Corp of Engineers on Monday to learn when more work will begin on the levees.