Home City park Small town in western Iowa kicks off long-awaited flood protection project

Small town in western Iowa kicks off long-awaited flood protection project

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The Town of Hornick opened a long-awaited berm on Thursday evening.

The small town in western Iowa hopes the structure can protect it from future floods — like the one that devastated Hornick three years ago. In 2019, water from the West Fork of the Little Sioux River breached a levee and flooded the town with just over 250 people.

Since then, Mayor Scott Mitchell has been working hard to ensure that such a disaster never happens again. He said it is a relief to know that the city will soon have a new protective barrier.

“When I now get a text from the National Weather Service about the rise in cricket, I don’t have to worry so much,” Mitchell said. “For me, it’s amazing. It’s kind of life changing for Hornick because what happened in 2019 won’t happen again.

Hornick Mayor Scott Mitchell and members of the community broke ground on a long-awaited berm construction project on Thursday.

The berm will be constructed three feet above the city’s 500-year flood elevation. Mitchell said the city began discussing the need for a berm after the 1996 floods. But the project wasn’t possible until the county town of Woodbury received $2.1 million. dollars in 2019 flood recovery funds.

Community members and Mitchell beamed with pride as they inaugurated the highly anticipated City Park project. Mitchell said the effort was only possible with the help of city council members and residents.

“We don’t need golden shovels at Hornick to do this,” he said as he picked up the first piece of dirt from the ground. “Congratulations, we are building a berm! »

“It’s kind of a life-changing thing for Hornick because what happened in 2019 won’t happen again.”

Scott Mitchell, Mayor of Hornick

Former U.S. Representative Steve King, who spoke at the groundbreaking, said he saw the community come together in the wake of the disaster to protect their city.

“It’s a well-oiled machine of volunteers here who pulled out all the stops to save this town from the flood that came and put in place the solution to prevent it for the next time.”

Construction of the berm will begin in July. Mitchell predicts the project will be completed by the fall.