Flooding forces people from homes in parts of Iowa while much of US broils again in heat

Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a disaster for 21 counties in northern Iowa as drone footage from one area showed zero visible streets, just roofs and treetops poking about the water.
Severe Weather Iowa
Posted at 5:32 PM, Jun 22, 2024

Floodwaters forced people out of their homes in parts of Iowa, the result of weeks of rain, while much of the United States longed for relief Saturday from yet another round of extraordinary heat.

Sirens blared at 2 a.m. in Rock Valley, Iowa, population 4,200, where people in hundreds of homes were told to get out as the Rock River could no longer take rain that has slammed the region. The city lacked running water because wells were unusable.

Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo said a state helicopter was on its way to help but was called off when boats were able to reach stranded residents.

“We've had so much rain here,” he said. “We had 4 inches last night in an hour and a half time. Our ground just cannot take anymore.”

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Gov. Kim Reynolds declared a disaster for 21 counties in northern Iowa, including Sioux County, which includes Rock Valley. In drone video posted by the local sheriff, no streets were visible, just roofs and treetops poking above the water.

Elsewhere in the U.S., the miserable grip of heat and humidity continued. The National Weather Service said roughly 15 million people were under a heat warning — the highest level of alert — while another 90 million were under a heat advisory.

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Temperatures around 100 degrees Fahrenheit were predicted for Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, while Philadelphia; Newark, New Jersey; Columbus, Ohio; and Detroit were bracing for the high 90s.

Across the country in California, temperatures in the state’s Central Valley were expected to reach as high as 106 Fahrenheit, and the NWS issued a heat advisory through 8 p.m. Nearly 4,000 homes and businesses in Sacramento lost power for less than an hour in the middle of the day, the Sacramento Bee reported.