Hamburg Floods

Hamburg, Iowa has been flooded many times in the past. However, this year has been one of the worst floods that they have seen. The flood waters earlier this year reached far into the town.

NASA Earth Observatory, Hamburg, Iowa, Flood, 2011This picture here is from the 2011 floods. In 2011 the flood waters did not reach into the center of town, but you can see how much area was covered by the flood waters. This is very similar to how it is now as the floods have continued. They are under a flood warning again tonight as earlier today the Missouri River was more than 3 feet above flood stage.

Flag Pole in Intersection - Hamburg, IowaEarlier this year the waters topped temporary barriers that had been erected along E Street which crosses Main Street here at the flagpole.

Tonight as I have been thinking about the floods in Hamburg I decided to turn to my Grandma’s Scrapbooks and see if she had saved any clippings about floods from years ago.

Hamburg, Iowa, Flood, Historic Flood, West DitchThis headline is from back in 1960 when the town came close to being flooded due to heavy runoff from snow melt in the upper Missouri River watershed.

Hamburg, Iowa, Flood, Historic Flood, West DitchThis picture is captioned HIGH WATER MARK:

Councilman Paul Zanker gazes out over a large body of water being held out of Hamburg by a sandbag barricade thrown up Friday to keep No. 6 ditch water out of town. The bag line next to which he is standing is in the center of the blacktop going west out of Hamburg, at the west edge of town.

My Grandma had written “Eric & Paul Lowmans? helped build this”.

Eric is my dad and was helping fill and place sandbags. The article talks about how the National Guard was called out to help and how that despite all the work that the No. 6 ditch dike broke and more than 5000 acres were flooded. However, the dike breaking probably saved the town from flooding in 1960.

Hamburg, Iowa, Flood, Historic Flood, West DitchAnother picture shows the area where the break occurred. The large arrow shows the spot of the break and it is also where my Dad and Paul worked so hard to help hold the water back. My Grandmother notes that they were in High School at the time.

TROUBLE SPOT – Most serious flood threat to Hamburg over the weekend came from this break in the No. 6 ditch dike a mile south of Hamburg. This ariel view was taken looking west toward the ditch, which flows from right to left across the picture center. Runaround dike construction in 1952 just south of Lewis School bridge is at far left. Water from break in dike below arrow, and from spots just below the break completely under water, sent a large quantity of run-off north along the east side of the dike (see far right) clear back into Hamburg. Experts believe that water leaving dike through this break probably saved dikes from being topped west of Hamburg.

Flood Meme, Hamburg, Iowa, NebraskaI will close with a meme that is making the rounds on Facebook. The picture in this meme is of the temporary barrier along E Street in Hamburg after the flood waters had subsided. You can see in the middle of the picture the flagpole at the intersection of Main Street. It is hard to see, but the Iowa flag is flying on the pole. However, the big headline of the meme says Nebraska.

This picture really makes me think about how truthful a lot of what we see on Facebook is. Not very many people would notice that this is a picture from Iowa and not Nebraska. Are there floods in Nebraska? Yes, there are in just as bad shape as many places in Iowa. However, pictures are often used over and over even if they are not from where people say they are.

OK, I wandered a bit at the end of this post, but the main thing I am thinking about tonight is how my Dad helped protect his hometown when he was in High School and how many people are doing the same this year.

Steven

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