Officials monitoring river, I-29 as summer rains move in

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Drivers have shared their excitement since the reopening of Interstate 29, but now some fear that it could be short-lived.

Traffic exiting Interstate 29, which is closed in Southwest Iowa to the Missouri border.

With water still up next to the roadway, a week of forecasted rain has some worrying that the interstate might go back under.

According to the National Weather Service, reflooding of I-29 remains a concern.

Typically the Missouri River would have to crest at 32 feet in Omaha to flood the interstate, and officials said that's fairly extreme.

However, with multiple levees damaged it could take less to see the water rise.

Austin Yates with the Iowa Department of Transportation said if the water does reach the road, there are several steps they will take before closing the interstate for a second time.

Officials would consider options from closing a single lane to moving traffic head-to-head to keep drivers moving.

"We know how critical this freight movement is on I-29. We won't hesitate to close it. Safety is number one. However, it is not a decision we would make lightly to close it, but that is definitely something that if we need to, we will," Yates said.

He said he's seen floodwater in some places drop multiple feet in the last 24 hours.

"Maintenance crews are out patrolling it constantly, keeping an eye on everything. You see behind me all of the camera trailers that we've deployed to the flood region. We're keeping an eye on things remotely as well as in person," Yates said.

IDOT, the Army Corps of Engineers and the National Weather Service said they are working together to continue monitoring water and the road and to keep drivers safe.