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 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.


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 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.