River threatens Hamburg, IA near Nebraska City

Hamburg, IA

Temporary repairs have been made on the breached levy threatening Hamburg, Iowa across the Missouri River from Nebraska City.

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management spokesman John Benson says the breached levy appears to have been stabilized for the moment, but evacuations are still taking place.  Half the town, which has a population of 1,000, is in the process of evacuation.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun work on a secondary earthen levy on the south side of Hamburg that is expected to be completed within the next few days.  The Iowa National Guard used a helicopter to drop 22 half-ton sandbags on the breached levy in Missouri's Atchison County.

People who live there, like Melanie, Finnell, are trying to protect their homes and businesses.  The breach is threatening her antiques shop, which she's own for 36 years.  Finnell says there's not time to be scared.  Since news of the impending flood spread, She's been working non-stop to sandbag the six buildings she owns.  “We just have to wait because we don't know when or if the water's going come.  They don't know and now we've got all sorts of swells and breaks, so we don't know what's going to happen.”

Finnell says she and others are upset with how the situation's been handled.   The say the dams upstream should have been released earlier in the spring.  She says it's overwhelming and that she's going to, “push myself because nobody else is going to do it for me.  Friends are here, they don't have to be.  I have to be here and live in this.  This is my nightmare, not theirs.