September 20, 2018 - 4:21 pm - Posted in News

Spencer, Iowa — Following heavy rains and extensive flooding in northwest Iowa, the DNR encourages Iowans to stay out of floodwaters until after the waters recede.

About 18 communities from Alton to Sioux Center have reported discharges from their wastewater treatment plants due to intense rains, according to Lois Benson, environmental specialist at DNR’s Spencer field office.

She added that 26 livestock operations reported their manure storage systems were overflowing. They are reporting they’ve received from 7 to 12 inches of rainfall, with more expected tonight, according to Benson. She says the vast majority have a national pollution prevention discharge elimination system or NPDES permit. In essence, this permit allows them to overflow in heavy rains.

Most of the discharging livestock facilities are in Lyon, Sioux, O’Brien and Clay counties. She says the DNR is telling them to hold the overflow as best they can and try to prevent it from reaching a stream. Some are transferring it to other areas. Some are trying to contain it behind terraces.

Producers who expect to discharge need to call the Spencer DNR field office at 712-262-4177.

While fast stream currents are the biggest risk for people, high waters can also carry debris and bacteria. Benson says the safest course is to stay out of the waters until several days after streams return to normal depths.

September 20, 2018 - 2:49 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — Area hardware stores were kept busy Thursday as residents dealt with flooding from the torrential rains that fell Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.

KIWA talked with several businesses in the area that sell sump pumps, and we found out there had been a BIG run on the devices at most stores throughout the area.

Downtown Hardware and Neal Chase Lumber in Sheldon report having several sump pumps and sump pump hoses go out the door Thursday, with Sheldon Power and Equipment selling some sump pumps as well. At Bomgaars in Sheldon they went through their entire supply of sump pumps quickly Thursday morning, and had to go to their warehouse in Sioux City to get another shipment.

In George, Heartland Hardware tells KIWA that they have gone through several sump pumps, as well as hoses and accessories Thursday morning. At M&H True Value Hardware in Rock Valley, they say they not only sold several sump pumps, but also several sump pump hoses and shop vacs, as well. M&H says the volume of sales wasn’t as big as they experienced during the June flooding, but it was substantial.

Here in Sheldon, one KIWA employee who says he’s never had a drop of water in the basement of the home he’s inhabited for 22-years, is one of two KIWA staff who spent their Thursday dealing with flooded basements. Another KIWA employee who has lived in their current home for six years reports the first episode of water in the basement came Thursday morning.

The good news is, according to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, Friday will bring partly sunny skies, with no chance of rain in the forecast through the weekend. There is, however, a chance of more rain beginning early next week.

September 20, 2018 - 1:15 pm - Posted in News

Washington, DC — (RI) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says negotiations on the next Farm Bill have “taken a turn” in the wrong direction.

Ernst is the only Iowan on the committee of House and Senate members assigned to come up with a new five-year Farm Bill by the end of the month.

That means the current Farm Bill provisions would be extended through 2019, giving congress 12 more months to negotiate.

The main sticking point is whether to enforce new work requirements for Americans who receive government nutrition assistance — commonly referred to as “food stamps.” The proposal was included in the version of the Farm Bill that cleared the U.S. House, but not the one that passed the Senate. Ernst says conference committee members have worked through other points of friction. If the debate over work requirements for nutrition assistance continues into 2019, it could occur in a reorganized committee with new members and, perhaps, under Democratic rather than Republican control.

Ernst spoke in the U.S. Capitol, near the Senate floor.

September 20, 2018 - 11:21 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The heavy overnight rains, combined with the rains that came Tuesday have caused many flooded basements, flooded roadways, and even one school closure here in northwest Iowa.

At the KIWA Studios in Sheldon we measured 5.3-inches of rain in the 24-hour period ending at 7:00 this morning. When combined with the 1.24-inches that fell Tuesday, Sheldon’s total for this rainfall event is 6.54-inches, with the rain continuing to fall as of mid-morning. That gives us a total for the year of 43.81-inches of precipitation, or some 21.15-inches…nearly 2-feet….more than the precipitation received at this point in a normal year. In Ashton, one listener even reported that he had so much water in his basement that his basement stairs were floating.

We had several listener reports of rainfall totals Thursday morning: 4 miles east of Sanborn, 5.6-inches of rain fell; George had 3.96-inches; a listener at Luverne, Minnesota measured 2.5-inches in their rain gauge Thursday morning; 2 miles south of Sanborn 7.00-inches of rain was reported; with 8.00-inches reported at Hartley; 4.5-inches in northern Hull, 3.75-inches of rain was reported by a listener 4 miles south of Paullina; Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities report 3.5-inches; and the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at Sibley reported 4.00-inches of precipitation.

Kerry Hanko is a Meteorologis with the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, and she tells us there is some light at the end of the rainfall tunnel.

She says that, contrary to the question they’ve repeatedly been asked this morning, this rainfall event is NOT because of Hurricane Florence, the storm that recently walloped the Carolinas.

Images of area flooding can be viewed below……………

Sheldon Country Club – Drone image courtesy Dean Hansen

Floating Basement Stairs in Ashton Residence – submitted by listener

Flooding North of Sanborn – submitted by listener

Road Flooding – submitted by listener

Kennedy Avenue, North of B-40 – submitted by listener

Road Flooding – submitted by listener

Flooded Field – submitted by listener

Water Standing in a Field – submitted by listener

Mill Creek Golf Course, Paullina – submitted by listener

Walmart Parking Lot in Spencer – submitted by listener

September 19, 2018 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This week, September 16 through 22, is National Farm Safety & Health Week, a time for farmers to be mindful of the potential hazards they encounter each and every day.

Beginning in 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety & Health Week. This recognition has been an annual promotion, first initiated by the National Safety Council and has been proclaimed as such by each sitting U.S. President since Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first document.

This year, National Farm Safety & Health Week celebrates its 75th year milestone and is dedicating each workday to relevant topics facing agriculture. Monday’s focus was Rural Roadway Safety. On Tuesday the focus was on Health, Suicide, and Opioids. Wednesday’s focus if Children and Youth Health and Safety. On Thursday the emphasis will be placed on Confined Spaces In Agriculture. And Friday is devoted to Tractor Safety.

This year’s theme for National Farm Safety & Health Week is, “Cultivating the Seeds of Safety.”

For more information on National Farm Safety & Health Week, CLICK HERE.

September 19, 2018 - 12:47 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for the KIWA listening area, beginning at 7:00 Wednesday evening.

The National Weather Service says Thunderstorms are expected to develop Wednesday evening and continue through Thursday morning, with the potential to produce high rainfall rates, and rapid accumulation of rainfall in a short period of time.

The National Weather Service says total rainfall accumulations of 1 to 3 inches will be possible by Thursday morning, with localized rainfall amounts above 3 inches possible. This rainfall on top of saturated grounds will lead to a heightened risk of flash flooding as well as river flooding.

The watch area includes a large part of northwest Iowa, including Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties, as well as adjacent areas of Minnesota and South Dakota.

This Flood Watch will be in effect from 7:00 Wednesday evening until 10:00 Thursday morning.

Keep tuned to KIWA for any future updates.

September 19, 2018 - 10:48 am - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — This is the last week of summer and forecasters at the National Climate Center are raising the odds of an El Nino weather pattern impacting our region soon.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the U-S-D-A’s Midwest Climate Hub, says we may see a shift within a few months.

Forecasting models indicate a weak El Nino is most likely, Todey says, but that’s just at the moment.

Todey says it’s a safer bet the impacts of the weather pattern will be felt more next year than this fall.

Forecasts for the last three months of the year show near-normal temperatures and precipitation are likely for the region.

September 17, 2018 - 2:29 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — A Peterson man who authorities believe was driving a car that was involved in a pursuit two weeks ago has been arrested. The pursuit started in Ashton, went through Sheldon, and ended up near Boyden on Sunday, September 2nd.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office reports that they arrested 23-year-old Shawn William Carter of Peterson on Thursday of last week He was arrested on two Osceola County warrants for allegedly eluding, an aggravated misdemeanor; and driving while suspended, a simple misdemeanor. Carter was also charged with multiple traffic violations.

While the pursuit was headed through Sheldon, one of the passengers bailed out and was soon arrested by the Sheldon police department. Authorities have identified that passenger as 29-year-old Kevin Aaron Vail, of Spencer. He was charged in O’Brien County with possession of a controlled substance, third or subsequent offense, which is a class D felony, according to Iowa Code. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

After the car hit stop sticks near Boyden and crashed, the remaining passenger and the driver took off on foot. The remaining passenger was identified as 22-year-old Lacey O’Clair of Matlock. She was charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia and interference with official acts. The driver, believed to have been Carter, was not found that day but was arrested last week.

September 17, 2018 - 11:49 am - Posted in News

Ocheyedan, Iowa — A Melvin woman was taken to the hospital in the aftermath of a two-vehicle crash southeast of Ocheyedan Friday morning.

Osceola County authorities say the crash happened when a northbound 2013 Chevy Traverse, driven by 37-year old Mindi Kay Vanhouten of Melvin, stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of 170th Street and Tyler Avenue. then pulled into the path of a 2017 Chevy Silverado pickup, driven by 38-year old Dale Jerome Jungers, of Sheldon. Vanhouten reportedly told deputies she failed to see Jungers’ pickup before attempting a left turn onto 170th Street.

According to authorities, Ocheyedan Fire and Rescue used mechanical means to free Vanhouten from the wreckage of her vehicle. She was then transported to the Osceola Community Hospital by the Ocheyedan Ambulance. Jungers escaped injury.

Damage to Vanhouten’s SUV was estimated at about $15-thousand, while Jungers’ pickup sustained about $25-thousand in damage.

Deputies say Vanhouten was cited for Failure to Yield upon Entering Highway.


September 14, 2018 - 3:30 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — Blood is needed year-round. Your chance to impact lives with your blood donation is coming up next week in Sibley.

Kathy Winter from the Osceola Community Hospital Laboratory Department tells us about this blood drive. She says they do one every other month.

She says they also do something else through the school.

She says it’s always a good time to give blood.

Winter says they take walk-ins, or you can call for an appointment to give blood on Wednesday, September 19th.

Donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with a signed parent consent form found at, weigh 110 lbs or more and be in good general health the day of the donation. Please bring an I.D. It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluid prior to donating. For more information log onto or call the lab at 712-754-5358.