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Sioux Rapids flood sandbagging

Volunteers fill sandbags in June, 2014 in Sioux Rapids, Iowa. Hawarden on Wednesday cancelled sandbag filling planned for Thursday as the Big Sioux River level forecast was downgraded. 

HAWARDEN, Iowa -- City officials in Hawarden have cancelled a planned sandbag filling for Thursday afternoon as the forecast crest of the Big Sioux River was downgraded. 

As of the late morning Wednesday, the Sioux Falls National Weather Service forecast the river at Hawarden to crest at 33.8 feet the morning of March 28. Previous forecasts suggested the river would be 3 1/2 feet higher than that. 

“At this time we are no longer going to be filling sandbags as we had planned for Thursday afternoon. Sandbags have a shelf life of about a year and if the new projections hold true, the river will crest at levels lower then what we saw last week,” Mike DeBruin, Hawarden city administrator, said in a press release. 

The river reached a height of 35.2 feet on March 15. The NWS reports the river is still in major flood stage. 

Hawarden officials are planning to monitor the river forecast, and the city could again request volunteers if the forecast is upgraded to higher river levels. 

DeBruin said in the statement he was glad so many had volunteered to help. 

“The response we saw for people willing to help since yesterday was astounding! Its great to live in an area where communities come together to help out when called upon,” he said. 

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