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Flooding in Iowa forces evacuation of its townspeople

AP – Floodwaters forced people out of their homes in parts of Iowa in the United States (US) as a result of weeks of rain, while much of the US longed for relief on Saturday from yet another round of extraordinary heat.

Sirens blared at 2am in Rock Valley, Iowa, population 4,200, where people in hundreds of homes were told to get out as the Rock River could no longer take rain that has slammed the region.

The city lacked running water because wells were unusable.

Mayor Kevin Van Otterloo said a state helicopter was on its way to help but was called off when boats were able to reach stranded residents.

“We’ve had so much rain here,” he said. “We had four inches last night in an hour and a half time. Our ground just cannot take anymore.”

Governor Kim Reynolds declared a disaster for 21 counties in northern Iowa, including Sioux County, which includes Rock Valley.

In drone video posted by the local sheriff, no streets were visible, just roofs and treetops poking above the water.

A person holds a dog while being evacuated in the bucket of a front-end loader in Iowa, United States. PHOTO: AP
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