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Cleaning equipment at Hornick

Cleaning supplies are free for the taking as residents of Hornick, Iowa, prepare for the arduous task of recovering after a breached levee on the West Fork of the Little Sioux River flooded the Woodbury County town. The cleaning supplies -- as well as a multitude of mops -- have been donated by surrounding communities.

SIOUX CITY -- Hornick, Iowa, residents seeking to recover from severe flooding that forced an evacuation from their homes will be spared a fee that is otherwise required for a special floodplain permit.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors addressed topics related to March flooding, unanimously agreeing Tuesday to two measures related to steps Hornick residents must make. In both cases, the supervisors were seeking to simplify the sometimes complicated steps of getting state or federal government help for losses due to flooding, county Community and Economic Development Department Director David Gleiser said.

"We are trying to make it as painless as possible," Gleiser said.

The flooding event began, due to rain and snowmelt, on March 13, then surged in county towns such as Hornick and Moville by the following morning.

A mandatory evacuation was ordered in Hornick on March 14, after snow melt and a breached levee on the West Fork of the Little Sioux River caused extensive flooding of city streets. The 225 Hornick residents were able to return home March 18 after the floodwaters receded.

Gleiser said he's been in communication with state officials related to getting financial assistance to people living in counties that have been declared as places subject to states of emergency.

"For the most part, the recovery process in Hornick is well on its way," Gleiser said.

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Hornick lies on flat land in a floodplain, and all repairs must be made in accordance with the county's existing floodplain ordinance. A county permit is required for each building in the floodplain that involves altering or replacing walls, siding, insulation, flooring, plumbing and roofing.

Each of those permits costs $110, but the supervisors approved waiving the fees for the upcoming weeks while recovery proceeds in Hornick.

Supervisors Jeremy Taylor and Marty Pottebaum asked questions on the details, saying it is important to be responsive to Hornick residents. The other decision by the supervisors Tuesday involved signing a memorandum of understanding with the city of Hornick to provide certain floodplain management services.

Twenty-nine Woodbury County road sections were closed at the height of the flooding from March 14 to 18. Two will require costly long-term repairs, as the floodwaters eroded part of the pavement on Highway 982 near Holly Springs and County Road L-37 near Danbury.

In Sioux City, the Missouri River crested at 29.7 feet on March 17, just below the height the National Weather Service said marks the minor flood stage. Standing water temporarily forced the closure of Hamilton Boulevard at the Interstate 29 underpass, as well as the north and southbound exit ramps for the interstate.

Many other areas of Siouxland remain working on infrastructure repairs after the mid-March flooding.

To the south of Woodbury County, the Monona County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday posted on Facebook, "Monona County has extensive roadway damage throughout the county. Recent weather conditions have caused dangerous erosion and water flooding over roads. County forces are repairing these road hazards as quickly as we can. It will take some time to get our damages repaired. Please use extra caution while traveling our secondary road system."

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