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Akron Optimistic Despite Swollen Big Sioux

March 18, 2010, 6:22 PM by Nick Carbone

Akron Optimistic Despite Swollen Big Sioux
AKRON, IA - The Big Sioux River is still making a mess of property in northwest Iowa. But ice jams threatening to flood Akron have broken up. And that has people breathing a sigh of relief.

Drivers haven't had to obey the speed limit on Highway 48 in Akron since Monday, when ice jams forced the river to overflow and close the road.

"It's a danger every year as you have thawing, but this year we had an excess amount of snow cover, so that was a concern," Plymouth County Emergency Manager Gary Junge said.

But warmer temperatures are melting the ice jams, and time is healing swollen rivers. As the pavement peeks out, Junge is staying positive.

“There was a possibility that it could have been several feet deeper, which, instead of just agricultural land and wild land, it could have affected Akron, Iowa, here, and their community,” Junge said. 

Up the Big Sioux in Hawarden, Iowa, the river has returned to its banks. It's a time that many who live farther south in Plymouth County, Iowa are patiently waiting for.

"It's definitely lakefront property that we never anticipated," Akron homeowner Troy Armstrong said.

Armstrong bought a house in Akron just 1.5 miles from the Big Sioux River. He never expected to see it in his backyard.

"It's a beautiful view, as long as it stays where it is and doesn't come any closer," Armstrong said.

And after a tense couple of days, it looks like he'll get his wish.

"We're just hoping it continues to backflow and go back down," Armstrong said. 

That will also help others glide through flood season without too much damage.

Because of his close call with the Big Sioux, Armstrong now plans to build up the land around his property to keep it out his yard in the future.

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