JOHNSTON — About 400 Iowa National Guard soldiers are being mobilized to provide support to local law enforcement at 75 evacuation control points beginning today in Cedar Rapids and Palo as flood waters along the Cedar River approach Tuesday afternoon’s projected crest of 23 feet, officials say.
Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, the adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, said 11 county liaisons/Guard Emergency Situational Awareness Contacts have been activated in Floyd, Bremer, Blackhawk, Buchanan, Cedar, Linn, Butler, Johnson, Louisa, and Muscatine counties.
Additionally, three Incident Awareness and Assistance Teams were activated on Saturday and placed in Cedar Falls/Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, with another team to be placed as needed, to work in two-person teams to conduct “eyes-on” assessments and report to the state’s Joint Operations Center in Johnston.
“We’ll continue active monitoring of the conditions in the state that could require response coordination, as well as ongoing assessments and planning for response missions that may be appropriate for the Iowa National Guard,” Orr said in a statement.
Due to recent heavy rains, the Cedar River and many streams are at or above flood levels, engulfing several Iowa communities and forcing many Iowans out of their homes. At least 13 of Iowa’s 99 counties have been declared state disaster areas and additional thunderstorms occurring in Iowa during the past weekend has heightened concerns for the safety and security of Iowans.