Thursday, September 29, 2011

Left Behind


This  picture was taken about 1.5 miles south of Hamburg.  Gives everyone a look at what is expected after the water has receded and the power of the water.  It was just heartbreaking to stand on the road and see barren land, Land that once was rich and produced a bountiful crop is now nothing but mud and silt, guessing it will be a long time before we see a crop come from the land that sat with water on it for over 3 months! Not to mention the trees that will have to be removed because of sitting in feet of water for so long.  I read where maybe now this will force the invasive trees to die off and will give the “native” trees more room to grow and reproduce, that would be a good thing.  The Bulls Frogs are in abundance on the “bottom”  as I stood on the road, they jumped from the ditch to the road and all over, had to tip toe in order not to step on one.  I like frogs, they had a whimsical touch the earth, yeah they may be slimy and gross, but are sort of cute in their own little way.  Think about it, they have a great life….sit in water all day, with your head poking up and just wait for your next meal to fly by….yeah you have to worry about some Joe Blow who might want to catch you to eat  your legs, but hey if your big enough chances are you can get away from him….OH, to be a frog!

As always give Thanks To God for his many Blessings which may be difficult to see during this difficult time.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Church Roof

  The Percival Church has decided to hire a structural engineer and an architect to check out our church structure. There has been concern for some time that our roof line has sagged and has been made worse from sitting on soft ground from the flooding of over three months.
The company of Prochaska and Associates, a large engineering company
in Omaha, will be in Percival Tuesday afternoon to assess their findings and meet with the committee.   There is a $1500 fee but after this is done we should all feel safer. Lynn

Monday, September 19, 2011

Yogurt Apple Salad

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As we look towards the beautiful fall season, we think of all the wonderful fall colors that nature has to offer. It’s also time for those yummy fresh apples! Here’s a recipe from our church cookbook, Yogurt Apple Salad. For this recipe and many others that reflect the love of cooking , send for your copy today of  “Cooking With Grace.”  We would love to share all  the treasured recipes we have collected! To purchase a cookbook which sell for $15.00,  send request to

 Happiness is like a jam. You can’t spread even a little bit without getting some on yourself!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

1952 Percival Flood

I found a picture taken by my brother Bob, of the town of Percival in the 1952 flood. The water was higher in Percival in this flood, because in the 2011 flood, the I 29 Interstate has acted as a buffer on the west side of town. Delores Sheldon, a resident one mile south of Percival, has pictures of her dad and others putting their motor boat up on the railroad tracks on the east side of Percival. Harold Holesclaw, another resident of Percival, stayed in town at the north elevator in 1952 and motor boated down the east street in front of the Post Office. In the 2011 flood, water never got on the east side of Percival.

Lynn Handy

Click on the image to enlarge


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Percival Flooded Again….

I think it’s safe to say, everyone has had their fill of water. Here just awhile back some of the church crew went to Percival and worked on cleaning up the streets a bit and now we’re back to square one.

The following photos were taken by 2011 Fremont County IA Flood Support found on Facebook. If you read the previous post, it explains the return of the water. You may click on images to enlarge.



















Friday, September 16, 2011

Disappointing News for Percival Once Again

The following article is from the KMA news website.

(Percivial) -- Disappointing news for residents in the Percival community.
The city, which was seeing floodwaters recede, has been inundated with water once again. Fremont County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Crecelius tells KMA News that repairs to the rail lines are the cause. He says the railroad was coming from the north and south repairing rails and breaches underneath them, and in closing the breaches, it has prevented the freeflow of water that had worked it's way underneath from flowing. Water is backing up back into Percival, and all the east-west streets are inundated, and there is four inches of water running across it towards the fire station and the church.
Crecelius says they're working with Iowa Homeland Security, as well as the railroad, to get the situation rectified. He says this is a huge step back in getting residents back into Percival. People had gone in and cleaned up homes and businesses, and they were waiting on the opening of a direct route other than the interstate so MidAmerican Energy could turn their power back on. The homes were ready, but now they have water in their homes again.
Crecelius says he's going through all the available channels to fix the situation as soon as possible. He says some steps have been taken to alleviate the water in Percival, but it hasn't helped yet. He met with a representative of the railroad who said they would cut roughly 8 6 foot breaches under the railroad to let the water flow. That apparently was not enough, as there was more water in Percival Friday morning than there was Thursday afternoon.
Railroad officials have stated they are going to cut another 20 six-foot long breaches to allow the water to flow to the east side of the railroad and out of Percival. Crecelius says they're now waiting to see if that will take care of the additional flooding. He says very few locations are free of water now. What few houses don't have water in them are surrounded by water. Three weeks ago, things looked good to get people back home, as roads were dry and water was going down. Now it's back to the way it was three weeks ago.
Crecelius says they'll be keeping Fremont County residents as up-to-date as they can on updates to the situation. Crecelius says there is still a potential more flooding will occur in Percival, and may even cause flooding back onto Highway 2. Crecelius says they are trying to let as many people back into their homes. If residents have had no water, or it has been removed and they have access, visit Mike Crecelius at the Fremont County Emergency Management offices and they can begin the steps to getting back into their homes and getting power services turned back on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Showers of Blessings Campaign Update

Goal: $100,000.00 by 100,000 people in 100 days (August 14th thru November 22nd)
Purpose: The gifts and donations received will be solely used to assist families, neighbors, friends and others in the Percival Community Church and elsewhere in the surrounding area to rebuild their lives and communities as the Flood of 2011 continues.
It is incumbent upon God's people to become engaged and "Doers" of the Word.. Will you join us in the undertaking that is larger than ourselves? What seems impossible is Possible with God. If you choose to make a $1.00 donation, send it to:
Percival Community Church
1965 185th Ave.
Percival, Iowa 51648
Above all else please uphold us in your prayers.

In gratitude & thanksgiving,

Pastor Blaine Pritchett & Church Board of Percival Community Church

To date we have raised approximately $7000.00!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Recent Photos of the West Ditch

The first picture is from the top of the dike protecting Hamburg
and looking west towards Ditch 6. 

Thought you might like to see the latest from the top of the dike
as my brother Bill and I walked over to it and looked at what we feel is
going to be a long time  wait for I 29 to open.

The second picture is water over Hwy 333 and you can pick out the RR crossing sign that is before the bridge.  Bridge railing is seen towards the west of the picture.  Road in the center of the picture is at the overpass of I 29 and as you can see none of it allows entrance or exit from the interstate.  Water movement is still visible in this picture as the river continues to push through this ditch.




Joan T.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gavin’s Point Dam

  Three members and their pastor from United Faith Church along with Pastor Blaine made a trip to see Gavin's Point Dam and the water release.  The next week they came to Percival and Hamburg to view first hand what that water had done to these little communities.  Our thanks to them for these pictures enabling us all to see the awesome power of the water release and just how much worse it could have been had those dams given way. You can click photos to enlarge.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011


The following article was posted on the KMA website

RESPONSIBLE RIVER MANAGEMENT (Percival) -- KMA News reported earlier this week about a group of concerned citizens who have organized under the name Responsible River Management.
Responsible River Management or R-Two-M as members refer to themselves, is comprised of farmers, business leaders and citizens who have been affected by Missouri River floodwater this summer. The group has members in at least five states and indications are they have gathered some momentum in being the voice of concern for flood victims who are all focusing on recovery.
Percival farmer Leo Ettleman is one of the group's members. Ettleman says the group has several priorities, but there is clearly a number one on R-Two-M's list and that is levee repair. Ettleman says no other infrastructure repair can be completed until the levees are repaired and ready to protect things from future flood water.
Those levee repair projects are going to take billions of dollars overall and Ettleman says many in R-Two-M are fearful the federal dollars won't be available for massive task. He says there's concern that the focus of government relief has switched to Hurricane Irene recovery efforts.
However, Ettleman says a recent discussion with Congressman Steve King's staff gives the group hope that the woes created by Hurricane Irene, may actually help the stream of federal money here in the Missouri River basin. Wayne Brincks told the group east coast lawmakers will be looking for federal relief, which may make it easier to bundle those federal dollars for Missouri River victims. But Ettleman says time will tell whether or not that theory is accurate.
The Percival farmer adds the group hopes to grow in number so they can offer a unified voice looking for solutions to a very complicated recovery problem. You can visit the group's
website or their facebook page.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bridges key to reopening of I-29


By Andrew J. Nelson

HAMBURG, Iowa — Want to go to a Chiefs game this fall? Thinking of Christmas shopping at the Country Club Plaza? You might need an alternate route.

Whether Interstate 29 will get you to Kansas City by then might well depend on a pair of bridges over a stream called Drainage Ditch 6, about a mile north of the Missouri border.

The problem originates several miles upstream, where water pours through a 385-yard breach in the Missouri River levee at Percival, Iowa, passes beneath the Interstate through several pipes and box culverts, then rushes south, eventually running up against the backup levee that still protects Hamburg.

The only place for the water to go is back under I-29 — through Drainage Ditch 6, Iowa state roads officials said during a World-Herald tour of the closed Interstate this week.

"It's all coming here and coming out through this little ditch," said Jim Bane, district maintenance manager of the Iowa Department of Transportation. "It has undermined the road on which we're standing. It just hasn't collapsed."

A hole formed on the southeast corner of the northbound I-29 bridge over the ditch, a hole so large it took transportation workers 30 to 40 dump trucks of rock to fill it.

A similar, less problematic hole formed on the southbound bridge.

The crossing is the most at-risk spot on I-29 "that we know of," Bane said. "We could have other places on this system where it has undermined."

Roads officials won't know for sure until more of the water drains away.

This week, The World-Herald toured flood-closed parts of I-29 from Pacific Junction to the Missouri border.

The tour revealed an Interstate largely OK on the surface.

Reopening the roadway in some places could be as simple as removing construction barriers and debris.

Most, if not all, of I-29 could be opened by the end of the year, Bane said.

That contrasts with Interstate 680 near Crescent, where flooding washed away much of the roadway.

"Overall, I-29 — when you compare it to I-680 ... is in pretty good shape," he said

But the vastness of the blue-brown water surrounding I-29 could mask damage visible only after the waters recede.

The problem at Drainage Ditch 6 is this: If both bridges require a substantial fix, drivers will have no path to get past. And many potential detour routes could be damaged.

"It could be that there are no exits between Glenwood and somewhere in Missouri," Bane said.

Driving south on I-29 near Pacific Junction, everything seems normal at first — except that there are no other cars.

Into Fremont County, Iowa, water surrounds white-framed Bartlett Community Church, making the town look like a Grant Wood version of Venice. Bane said there may be no need there for a roadway inspection.

But that changes north of Percival, where the waters from the levee break once rushed over the Interstate but now flow beneath it.

A big cause for concern is erosion around the culverts and pipes from water rushing through. Just inside the flooded fields to the west, brown water swirls in whirlpools — some look big enough to pull down a man.

"That swirling action, just like you see in the bathtub, will suck any soil that it comes up against," Bane said. "That's what has me concerned about these pipes and these box culverts."

At the Percival exit, water pushes through a pipe or culvert at a natural low spot where water rushed over the road after the breach.

"I'm going to expect to find we've got some kind of void," he said of the spot. "With it coming through that hard, it just makes it much more likely there's a problem."

Tree branches, cornstalks and other debris become more prevalent south of Percival. Near the Iowa Highway 2 exit to Nebraska City, two fuel tanks stick out of the water to the west. A refrigerator and a toilet seat sit by the side of the road.

The interchange at Highway 2 is like the scene of an aquatic disaster movie. Water surrounds the Americas Best Value Inn and the Sapp Bros. Travel Center. Highway 2 acts as a dam — much as I-680 did — with the water on its north side visibly higher than on the south.

"I expect it to look just like 680. It's actually had water running on it longer," Bane said.

Some water is being channeled into a 15-foot-deep trench that runs under I-29 and into a field to the east.

"It's undermined the footing that is part of the supports of the bridge (that holds up the Interstate)," Bane said.

No early cost estimate for likely I-29 repairs is available, but Bane said it could be in the tens of millions.

Asked what the public should know about the road repairs, Bane said transportation officials will get the highways open as fast as possible.

"We want them to understand, as best as they can, it's just a mess," Bane said. "It's going to be messed up a lot longer than we want it to be."

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