OSAGE, IA – It’s devastation that they couldn’t imagine they’d ever see again.
Highway 9 is usually the best way to get in and out of the city of Osage, however with severe weather damaging the bridge leading into the city, many residents are left shocked and surprised at the power of mother nature.
“Obviously the devastation is unbelievable and the amount of water and the damage it did. The power is incredible. We use this road every day to get into Osage from where we live and our kids use it to go to school so we’re gonna have to figure out an alternate route,” said Dave Bellairs of Osage.
Dave lives on the fringes of Osage but says he and along with many others rely on this major road to get into town.
However, neither him, nor the community was prepared for the damage the woke up to Monday morning.
“Five years ago we had a huge rain storm and a flood that washed out another road into town, just along the river, but not on a main highway like this. Highway 9, no this is a first,” said Bellairs.
While the main road is a big concern for local folks, it isn’t the only concern.
“Our biggest loss probably is erosion to farm land, secondary roads. This type of thing. There several people who got water in their basements but they still have a home. No loss of human life and that is important,” said Ray Huftalin Emergency Management Coordinator for Mitchell and Worth County.
Severe weather has affected many properties throughout Mitchell County, but it’s the effect on local economy that has Ray most worried.
It’ll never happen to me, by bread prices are not gonna go up, my corn flakes are not gonna go up. I realize also that you go east of here, they didn’t get the rain storm and the damage. So when you look at the country, we’re a small item, but still these are the farmers in this community that are gonna have an impact,” said Huftalin.
While it might go without saying, ray still has a reminder he knows is important to everyone’s safety.
“When the road says closed, that’s what it means. When the television puts it out there that says don’t drive, don’t drive,” said Huftalin.
7:50 pm – Highway 9 bridge has been completely blocked off due to the eastbound bridge eroding. Detours have been marked off for those trying to make it into town. Many are now relying on the recently open Highway 218 as a detour, although officials recommend you to take extra caution as roads may still be unstable.
Clean up kits are now available for residents of Mitchell County to help in removing any debris. Kits can be found in city halls throughout the county.
11:15 am – KIMT News 3’s Levi Ismail reports that the Highway 9 bridge eastbound into Osage is blocked because of extensive damage to the structure.
9:50 am – Sunday night severe weather leaves many roads leading into Mitchell County closed off due to flooding concerns.
As of Monday morning some of those major roads are still closed.
Mitchell and Worth County officials met earlier today in an emergency meeting to assess the damage done by the severe weather, and their hope is to have a plan of action later today.
KIMT News 3 will update you with continuous coverage as we find out more.