Monday, July 15, 2024

Persistent high temperatures continue to impact US as severe weather persists.

Railroad Bridge Collapse During Flooding in Midwestern U.S. Leads to Evacuations and Rescues

The recent severe weather in the Midwestern U.S. has taken a dangerous turn as a railroad bridge collapsed during flooding, resulting in water rescues, evacuations, and sadly, at least one death. The collapse of the bridge that connected North Sioux City, South Dakota, with Sioux City, Iowa, into the Big Sioux River late Sunday has added to the devastation caused by a persistent heatwave in the region.

Images from local media showed a large portion of the steel bridge submerged underwater as floodwaters rushed over it. Several trusses of the bridge collapsed, according to Jason Westcott, an emergency manager in Union County, South Dakota.

Despite the collapse, there were no immediate reports of injuries. The bridge is owned by BNSF Railway, but officials from the company have not yet provided a comment on the incident.

The flooding in the area has been exacerbated by days of heavy rainfall in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, with more rain expected to come. In northwestern Iowa, 13 rivers have flooded, resulting in entire neighborhoods and even an entire town being evacuated. The town of Spencer in Iowa had to impose a curfew for a second night due to flooding that surpassed a record set back in 1953.

Governor Kim Reynolds has declared a disaster for 21 counties in northern Iowa, including Sioux County. The National Guard has been assisting with water rescues and providing aid to those affected by the flooding. Emergency management officials have been urging evacuations, with the potential for mandatory evacuation orders if flood barriers are breached.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem also declared an emergency after severe flooding in the southeastern part of the state, with several highways being closed. Tragically, at least one person has lost their life due to the flooding.

The situation is further aggravated by a persistent heatwave in the region, with temperatures soaring and public officials warning residents about the dangers of excessive heat and humidity. The heatwave is expected to continue in parts of the Southeast, South, and Plains regions early this week.

As the region grapples with the aftermath of the flooding and extreme heat, communities are coming together to support those affected and provide assistance in any way possible.

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