Northeast Iowa Floods

Flood Damage Reporting and CleanUp

Emergency management and state officials are assessing damage, but recording and reporting of damage to private residence and businesses is the responsibility of the owner of that structure. Damage reports should be sent to 2016flood@co.winneshiek.ia.us or reported by calling (563) 277-5123.

When recording and reporting damage be sure to include the following information:

  • Name, address, and contact information
  • Short description of damage incurred using the terms below
    • Affected: minimal flooding, 3in or less of water in basement
    • Minor: damage to functional components (i.e. furnace, water heater, HVAC, etc.), water on main level of residence, damage to a private well or septic system
    • Major: structural damage including walls, roofs, floors, foundation, etc.
    • Destroyed: total loss, unrepairable residence or business (i.e. Collapse of basement walls/foundation, walls or roof)

When disposing of items damaged due to flooding please bring all white goods (refrigerator, water heater, microwave, etc.) to the Winneshiek County Recycling Center. All soft goods (couches, carpet, rugs, etc.) to the dumpsters at the Winneshiek County Recycling Center or in the lower level Oneota Community Coop Parking Lot. Dumpsters will be at these locations through Sunday evening. The Winneshiek County Landfill (2000 140th Ave., Decorah)  will be open Friday 7am to 6pm and Saturday 7am to 12noon. Please be sure to tarp and secure the load.

Ways to Help After the Northeast Iowa Floods

Northeast Iowa experienced a terrific and devastating flood. Many people incurred significant damage to their homes and belongings. Because the damage was due to flooding, many are finding these losses are not covered by their insurance. We love our community, and living in an area where people stand up and lend a hand to their neighbors is part of what makes it great. It can be overwhelming to know where to start and how to be helpful when there is so much needed.  To that end, here is some information that might be useful.

Clean-up:

Some people in affected areas are just now being able to get into their homes, a day and a half after the water came in. We’ve yet to find a place with a central listing of families in need assistance with cleaning. Several local churches have been assisting their member with clean up. If a centralized location for clean-up requests is publicized, I’ll post it in the comment section.

The City of Spillville is asking for volunteers to assist. If you have the time and ambition to help out, meet at the Spillville Mini Mart any time from 1-5 PM on Friday. The group will be starting to clean the historic Inwood Ballroom starting at noon Friday, as well as on Saturday and Sunday starting at 9am. Shop vacs welcome.

Disaster Declaration:

Spread the word: Governor Branstad made a 5-county disaster declaration today. The amount of money available to families is limited to $5,000 and is available only if household income is not more than 200% the federal poverty level. For more on that declaration and how to apply for funds, visit the DHS website. Eligible residents of Allamakee, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties have until October 10, 2016 to apply. If you know an affected family, please share this information, as application for funds is time-sensitive.

Chamber Flood Relief Program:

The Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation to start a flood relief fund similar to the one they developed in 2008. Donations can be dropped off at the Chamber office, 507 W. Water St. Make checks payable to “NEICAC-Flood Fund” and write the county you wish to have the funds designated for in the memo line. Flood victims can fill out applications in September and October; a committee will review the applications and allocate funds. For more information, go to the Chamber’s dedicated page.

Local food banks:

Food, paper goods, toiletry items. They need all of it. Keep in mind, many food banks have the ability to buy items in bulk from the greater NEIA Food Bank for drastically reduced prices. So, you don’t need to make a special trip to the grocery store to buy items to donate. Donating the money instead can be just as – or maybe a little more – helpful. Contact information and locations for all area food pantries can be found on the Iowa Food and Fitness website.

Food and other Items:

NEICAC is in need of personal hygiene products and cleaning supplies to distribute to flood victims. NEICAC is located at 305 Montgomery St., Decorah. Clothing can be donated at the Spectrum Thrift Store, 607 Washington St., and the Depot Outlet, 510 Montgomery St.

Area food pantries are expecting an influx of usage and will accept donations, but they can make cash go much further than donated food items. First Lutheran Church is seeing a greater need for donations to their discretionary fund, which is used when clients need money for a hotel or supplies.

Do you have things hanging out in your house that are loved but unused? Tables, chairs, blankets, clothes, books, kids toys, unicorns – You know. The usual. – Donate them to one of the local thrift stores! Not big on thrifting and don’t know where these places are? Here is short list of local donation options: Depot Outlet in Decorah, Spectrum Thrift Store in Decorah, South Winn Community Thrift in Calmar, St. Patrick’s Thrift Store in Waukon.

***Do you have furniture to give, but not the transportation or ability to haul it? The Depot will come to get it! Call them at 563-382-2700 to arrange.***

Social Media:

There are several family-specific donation campaigns going on at GoFundMe.com. They can be found by going to the site and searching by town or family name. Also, there has been a local Facebook group started for those who want to donate (for free!) items to those in need. The Northeast Iowa Flood Relief Community Group can be found here. In addition, don’t forget to check out your local county public health and law enforcement pages.

Helping your neighbors is what makes NEIA (and you) awesome! Spread the word.

from imaginenortheastiowa.com

Pollinator Party

The Pollinator Party is Today! And you’re invited!

1-4 pm at the Community Prairie in Decorah

The Prairie is on the West Side, near Aase Haugen Home. Here’s a map to help get you there.

In honor of National Pollinator Week, Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners invited you to a Pollinator Celebration Party at the Decorah Community Prairie on June 18th, from 1-4 p.m.  The event is free and suitable for adults and children alike.

Attendees will enjoy guided pollinator exploration walks through the prairie; making bee houses, habitat seed balls and pollinator masks; playing a pollinator game; engaging in a scavenger hunt, pollinator face painting and a pollinator book arts project. The party will also include a tour of a display hive; learning stations and take-home materials for two citizen science projects: The Great Sunflower Project and Million Pollinator Gardens, as well as a silent auction and a “Gifts from the Pollinators” basket raffle. “Pollen Nation”, a CD of pollinator music created by local artists will be for sale. Any proceeds from the CD sales and the silent auction will be used to support pollinator conservation in Northeast Iowa.

Funding for the event is provided by Thrivent Financial and community donations. For more information on this and other upcoming events, call (563) 382-2451 or see the Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners Facebook page.

Family Fun Event: Bees and Butterflies…

Beautiful Queen (Danaus gilippus) butterfly posed on a red flower feedingFamily Fun Event:  Bees and Butterflies…  As part of the Decorah Public Library “On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!!! Summer Reading Program, families are invited to come to the Decorah Community Prairie and Butterfly Garden to celebrate bees and butterflies!

Learn about these amazing pollinators while having fun on Wednesday, June 15th.

For additional information about this event please click here Bees and Butterflies.

Also be sure to check out the Pollinator Celebration Party, hosted by NE Iowa Pollinator Partners, happening Saturday, June 18th here Pollinator Party.

 

Farmer’s Market Saturday morning Hosts Special Events

Dear Friends,

This week is the beginning of the Farmer’s Market Season in Winnneshiek County, and Saturday there are some special events to add to the fun!

From 8:00am to noon, you can take in a variety of special events. 9:30 might be an especially great time to come!

The local group ‘Break Free from Fossil Fuels” will feature arts and gadgets, including the ‘Climate Ribbon Project’, where participants write on a ribbon what they don’t want to lose to climate change. They will also feature a number of solar ovens and other fossil fuel-free gadgets and trinkets.

From 10am-12pm, they will host an ‘Electric Car Show’ along Claiborne Dr near City Hall. Visit with electric vehicle owners, and learn more about how our community members are Breaking Free with their vehicles!

Break Free from Fossil Fuels is a global initiative, made possible by 350.org, that inspires communities throughout the world to pressure their leaders to break ties with the fossil fuel industry, and encourages communities to make strides towards a 100% renewable energy future. Find more information at Break Free Decorah.

The Pollinator Party is today! And you’re invited.

1-4 pm at the Community Prairie in Decorah

In honor of National Pollinator Week, Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners invited you to a Pollinator Celebration Party at the Decorah Community Prairie on June 18th, from 1-4 p.m.  The event is free and suitable for adults and children alike.

Attendees will enjoy guided pollinator exploration walks through the prairie; making bee houses, habitat seed balls and pollinator masks; playing a pollinator game; engaging in a scavenger hunt, pollinator face painting and a pollinator book arts project. The party will also include a tour of a display hive; learning stations and take-home materials for two citizen science projects: The Great Sunflower Project and Million Pollinator Gardens, as well as a silent auction and a “Gifts from the Pollinators” basket raffle. “Pollen Nation”, a CD of pollinator music created by local artists will be for sale. Any proceeds from the CD sales and the silent auction will be used to support pollinator conservation in Northeast Iowa.

Funding for the event is provided by Thrivent Financial and community donations. For more information on this and other upcoming events, call (563) 382-2451 or see the Northeast Iowa Pollinator Partners Facebook page.

Up Up! Film Festival, April 13-23, 2016

Featured image for 'Up Up! Film Festival'What do you get when you add farms, food, rural issues, and film? The UP UP film festival! Running this week in Decorah and through April 23rd, this film festival will share perspectives on rural life, food systems, and farming. With films for all ages, movie subjects range from small chocolate growers in Mexico to cattle ranchers in Colorado.

To see the full schedule and descriptions of the films, visit: www.upupdecorah.com.