With the recent heavy rains during the past week in the area, state and local officials have been forced to close several roads due to damages from washouts and other damage. Additionally, some roadways have been covered by floodwaters, creating unknown hazards for the motoring public.
The Iowa State Patrol and the Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office are reminding motorists to pay extra attention to their route of travel until the current conditions subside.
The Palo Alto County Sheriff's Office and Iowa Department of Transportation closed a three-quarter mile stretch of Iowa Highway Four south of Emmetsburg Friday morning when floodwaters from the West Fork of the Des Moines River began flowing over the roadway and rose to a depth of eight inches by late afternoon. The roadway was posted as Closed and an emergency detour was put in place for drivers to utilize County Roads B-53 to Ayrshire and County Road N28 to Highway 18.
SIGN THERE?FOR?A?REASON - Even after state and county officials closed Highway Four south of Emmetsburg on Friday due to floodwaters running over the road, motorists ignored the closures and drove through the roadway. The fine for driving on a road that has been posted as closed is $195. All motorists are reminded that if a road is posted as closed, it has been posted for a safety concern and drivers should respect the signage. -- Dan Voigt photo
Several other roadways in the county have been posted as closed, including a stretch of 440 Avenue southwest of Emmetsburg where the road has washed away from both sides of a box culvert, rendering the road impassible.
'Road Closed' signs have been placed in locations for good reason, and need to be obeyed. Authorities ask drivers to not become part of the problem for emergency services by disregarding closure signs. Driving on a closed road is not only dangerous for you and your family, but can put emergency responders at risk as well.
All motorists are urged to remember the simple slogan: 'Turn Around, Don't Drown' whenever they might encounter water over the road, or road closed signs.
In Iowa, operating on a closed road is a violation that carries a $195 fine.