Wright Co. declares emergency

CLARION – The Wright County Board of Supervisors has declared a state of emergency due to the damage from strong storms earlier in the week.

By declaring a state of emergency, Wright County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Lester said this will allow “for the expenditure of emergency funds from all available sources, the invoking of mutual aid agreements and the applying to the state of Iowa for resources and assistance as needed.”

Both private and public property received storm damage and, according to Lester, this poses a risk to the residents of Wright County.

Though he didn’t have an official count of rainfall the county had received, Lester said he had seen reports varying from 9 to 12 inches.

That water has caused a number of roads to be closed.

“There’s close to 40, maybe more,” Lester said. “We’re still out finding locations and barricading roads.”

Flooding has also caused some to be evacuated from their homes.

“We just did some evacuations in Belmond because there was water at both ends of the road,” he said. “Those roads are inaccessible to emergency services.”

The east and northeastern parts of Wright County were hardest hit, according to Lester.

In a written statement, Sheriff Jason Schluttenhofer said barricades are meant for the safety of the public. Anyone moving them from a roadway could face criminal charges.

Lester also said people should avoid boating or tubing at any of the local rivers, and said no one should drive or walk through standing water.

Residents who need to report damage caused by flooding should contact their local city halls, while rural residents are asked to call the Wright County Communications Center at (515) 532-2610.