The following is an update on the flooding situation in Hamburg, provided by the city for use in the paper, and dated April 7.

Floodwater
The water is receding slowly due to a break in the levee at Percival. The break is four football fields wide and 60 feet deep. The Army Corps of Engineers is drudging from the river and hauling fill behind the river to close the break.
The break to the south of Missouri River mile 545 is small, so the water isn’t moving fast enough.
The city continues to pump.

Water
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has informed Hamburg residents that they may take showers, wash dishes, do laundry and flush. The Hamburg water plant is being gutted and sterilized. Parts are being replaced at the plant but the city needs to gain access to its wells which are inundated. Drinking water will be available when the city can get to the wells to prep.
Dedicated firemen and farmers have pumped and hauled out water for 18 days.

Levee
The city of Hamburg reports that it has clearly conveyed the need for an improved levee in three to four meetings with the Corps of Engineers. Details on levee plans will be shared when those plans are firm.

Forecast
With 53 breaks on the Missouri River and water still in town, a levee can not be constructed yet.
The May and June forecast is unknown. In the case that there is heavy rain and snow melt to the north, the city is making a second line of defense with double rows of Hesko barrier bags on E Street. Those will only be placed when and if necessary.

Funding
Federal, state and private funding continues to be explored for the city’s massive repairs and much needed affordable housing.
The city has met four times with the State of Iowa and two times with Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne, as well as Senator Chuck Grassley.
The city will testify at Senator Joni Ernst’s hearing on April 17. Also, the city started two donation sites, PayPal and GoFundme Hamburg Strong, and continues to receive donations at city hall. The city has reached out to Hamburg Alumni members as well. All donations go to the 501(c)3, Hamburg Community Economic Development Fund and will be used for repairs government funding won’t cover.
The Colonial Board started a donation drive. After AmeriCorps volunteers are finished cleaning, the Theater Board will begin repairs (seats, bathrooms and concession stand).

Business
Grape Hospital has Depart of Natural Resources approved surgical water and is fully open for business.
The Medical Clinic plans to move back soon. Hamburg Oil, Keim’s and Risky Business are open. Bill the Barber is at Marty’s on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Donation Center
The donation center continues to receive water, food, clothing, cleaning items, etc., from generous individuals and companies. The city takes the state on tours when representatives come to town and they are overwhelmed by the situation in Hamburg. Reports are that Cedar Rapids did not have the quanity or the organization of donations that Hamburg has experienced. The food pantry joined its efforts to the donation center last week.

Clean Up
The clean up effort is slow due to rain and only having one Department of Transportation truck. There is lots of flooding in western Iowa, but the state is giving Hamburg what it can at this time.

Volunteers
AmeriCorps, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration are housed at the former Daycare at the hospital. As such, individuals and businesses have one place to apply and schedule volunteers for clean up.

FEMA Tips
When Hamburg businesses met with Congresswoman Cindy Axne last Saturday, FEMA encouraged those businesses, as well as individuals, to apply and to re-apply. Also they were told to ask for and apply to DSNAP, which provides a month of benefits. Individuals and businesses should ask about asbestos with FEMA if they fear they have some are getting ready to remove it. FEMA won’t cover it if its torn out without following a prescribed procedure. Talk to FEMA before starting the tear out process.

The city concluded with the following message.
Each of the subjects covered in this update involve a lot of determined volunteers with stamina and heart helping out people who have lost so much. These individuals and businesses are trying to find a new normal and the City of Hamburg stands beside you. We are fighting on every front to recover.