Archive for June, 2008

Fund raising

Posted: Friday, June 27th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Polly Prior from Columbus Junction has this information:

T-shirts are for sale to help with flood relief for Columbus Junction and Louisa County.

The CJ Gazette has t-shirts for sale that the money will go into a fund to help Louisa County,the 3 cities of CJ, Wapello, and Oakville.

The business “Simply Soothing” is making t-shirts for sale to help the flood relief in Columbus Junction. They will custom make the shirt with various pictures from the flood. They also have Flood Survival baseball caps.

Farmer’s Market relocated in Columbus Junction

Posted: Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 5:32 am

This message also from Community Development:

The Columbus Junction farmers market has relocated due to the flood. The market will be held at the American Legion parking lot, 99 2nd St. Columbus Junction on Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm until further notice. The Columbus Junction market is the only farmers market in Louisa County and is certified by the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship (IDALS) to accept Senior Nutrition Coupons and WIC vouchers. New vendors are always welcome. For more information about the Columbus Junction farmers market please contact Mallory Smith or Nitza Lopez-Castillo, Columbus Junction Community Development Center at 319-728-7971 or

Message from Columbus Junction Community Development

Posted: Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 5:29 am

This message is from Mallory Smith, Columbus Junction Community Development Director

The flood waters that recently wrecked havoc in Columbus Junction, Iowa left residents and visitors high and dry for places to eat. That is an unusual occurrence for this little town of 1,900 that boasts thirteen restaurants and three bars. The high water closed four of the town’s food establishments and left nine more with tables empty, under a boil order while the city’s water treatment plant was restored to normal operating conditions. On Saturday morning the boil order was lifted and cooks immediately began chopping, mixing and frying. Customers weren’t far behind. People were happy to enjoy again their favorite culinary treats that in Columbus Junction range from huevos rancheros to apple pie.

The flood of 2008 created a small business disaster for this Southeast Iowa community. High water directly or indirectly affected nearly every business in the city, almost all of which are small family-owned enterprises. The easternmost portion of the downtown business district was under water for days. Over two dozen businesses and organizations are now facing the tasks of clean up, repairs or perhaps rebuilding. Businesses above the flooded area felt the effects too due to the boil order and closed highways that left the city inaccessible from the east and north for a week. Fortunately homeowners fared better and less than 10 houses were damaged.

Even now, while water is still being pumped out of the Fairgrounds, the economic recovery effort is underway. Elias Gutierrez, Executive Director for Louisa Development Group, a countywide economic development organization, is heading up efforts to connect business owners with resources such as FEMA, Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “It’s vital to have these businesses up and running again. They provide jobs, pay taxes and contribute a lot to our economy,” stated Gutierrez.

City officials are hopeful that the spirit of sandbagging will extend to shopping locally. The city’s largest grocery store, Economart, was underwater and is closed. Residents are being encouraged to shop at the three Hispanic markets that carry full product lines including grocery items, produce, meat, dairy, and cleaning supplies. Another option being presented is to make the trip to Wapello, the county seat fifteen minutes away, where Economart’s owners have a second location. “It’s a very important time to shop locally, to help the economy and show community pride,” declares Mallory Smith, Columbus Junction Community Development Director.

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Another roads opens

Posted: Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 3:34 am

Louisa County Sheriff’s office reports Highway 61 north of Wapello is open.

Roads opening back up

Posted: Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 9:31 am

Only this road is listed as closed by the Washington County Secondary Roads Department: Dogwood Ave. at McKains Access northwest of Brighton.

The Public Safety Center also reports Highway 22 near Riverside is open.

Louisa County Extension resources

Posted: Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 9:25 am

Louisa County Extension Office has many resources available a their website:

Photos of Columbus Junction

Posted: Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 6:41 am

Here are a few more images courtesy of Lyle Moen. These pictures of Columbus Junction were taken June 15.

(Lyle Moen)
(Lyle Moen)

Emergency meetings in Louisa County

Posted: Monday, June 23rd, 2008 at 6:30 am

Louisa County Extension and the Louisa County Office of Emergency Management will be holding meetings for those displaced by flooding every night at 7 p.m. at the Solid Rock Baptist Church on Locust Street in Wapello.

These informational meetings include updates on road and flood conditions in Louisa County; the latest updates on food, housing and other services; updates on aid and question and answer sessions.

The public is welcome to attend. Meetings will continue nightly until the need is met.

Columbus Junction Boil Order Lifted

Posted: Saturday, June 21st, 2008 at 9:11 am

The Louisa County Sheriff’s Office reports the city of Columbus Junction has lifted the boil order for the city water system. Test results are back and the city water is safe for drinking and personal use.

Highway 92 opens

Posted: Saturday, June 21st, 2008 at 3:16 am

According to the DOT, Highway 92 at Columbus Junction is now open. Also, Highway 70 north of Columbus Junction is open. Highway 61 north of Wapello is under intense construction and is closed for saftey concerns.

Louisa County Road Update

Posted: Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

Louisa County Sheriff’s office reports that Highway 61 north of Wapello has considerable damage. crews are working to reopen that section and possibly could have it open again Tuesday or Wednesday.

There had been bicycle traffic allowed on 61 to accommodate commuters, but that has now been restricted again because of work underway.

Highway 92 in Columbus Junction could open again soon depending on a number of factors.

Skunk River / Corallville Photos

Posted: Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 9:18 am

More photos from Lyle Moen:

McKains Access
(Lyle Moen)

Skunk River at Brighton
(Lyle Moen)

The Coralville Strip

(Lyle Moen)

The Coralville Strip
(Lyle Moen)

Have pictures of local flooding? Email them

Coppock and Wapello photos

Posted: Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 6:40 am

Today KCII will post several photos submitted by Lyle Moen, who graciously allowed us to bring them to you. Moen was able to get a ride in an airplane Sunday and document Washington and Louisa Counties’ events.

Construction of a new bridge in Coppock was already underway before the floods came through.

(Lyle Moen)

This is Wapello
(Lyle Moen)

Throughout today, more birds-eye view shots will be posted as we upload them.

Family reunion relocated

Posted: Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 4:17 am

A family reunion has been relocated. The 86th John A. Rees family reunion that was scheduled for Saturday, June 21 at the Chautauqua Park in Columbus Junction has been relocated to the first shelter at Marr park near Ainsworth at noon Saturday.

John McCain reacts to Columbus Junction visit

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Senator John McCain visited Columbus Junction today, and he the guest on KCII’s In Touch with Southeast Iowa for a reaction to that visit. Hear the program Friday at 12:50 p.m.

Tyson Foods Paychecks

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 10:56 am

Tyson Fresh Meats in Columbus Junction will be distributing paychecks at the plant security building between noon and 4 p.m. today (Thursday). Workers must have their work ID with them.

School websites back up and running

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 7:54 am

Washington School’s website is back up. many school were affected because Grant Wood AEA in Cedar Rapids was affected by flooding, and that meant the school websites were offline for a time. they are now back up. Here are some:

McCain coming to Columbus Junction

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 6:35 am

G.O.P presumptive presidential nominee Senator John McCain is planning a visit to Columbus Junction today. His press office indicates the Senator will be visiting with the mayor and local officials to discuss recent flooding that set record levels. Senator McCain is expected to arrive shortly before noon today

Levee map

Posted: Thursday, June 19th, 2008 at 3:57 am

Here is a levee map from the Army Corp of Engineers about possible levee problems on the Mississippi. Levee map

Provided by Louisa Extension Office

Riverside and Iowa City photo submissions

Posted: Wednesday, June 18th, 2008 at 11:09 am

Some photos submitted by Michael and Amber McHugh. These were taken the evening of Sunday, June 15.

Do you have photos to submit? Send them to

English River up into the ball fields on W-61 in Riverside
(Michael and Amber McHugh)
Riverside Drive and Hwy 6 in Iowa City(Michael and Amber McHugh)

Iowa River just East of Riverside Casino
(Michael and Amber McHugh)