Sandbags, plastic wrapping used to protect telecommunications facilities
NEWTON, Iowa – Windstream is preparing for likely flooding in the Iowa and Nebraska communities it serves along the Missouri River. Crews are wrapping central offices in plastic and piling up sandbags in an effort to maintain voice and broadband service for as long as possible.
In remote locations, numerous pedestals and cables likely will eventually be under water if the flooding is as extensive as currently predicted.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released water from a South Dakota dam to ease pressure from heavy spring rains and to make room for runoff from this year’s above-normal Rocky Mountain snowmelt. The water release could last for weeks or months.
“The Iowa operations team has taken the appropriate actions in protecting our central offices from the forthcoming flood waters,” said Charles Bruggemann, Windstream’s vice president in charge of operations in Iowa. “We will closely monitor these offices and support the communities and customers during this flood of 2011.”
Windstream crews are securing the company’s central offices in the Iowa communities of Blencoe, Modale, Mondamin, Percival and Pisgah.
In Southeast Nebraska, Windstream officials are carefully monitoring the situation and will take appropriate measures as needed.
River levels will likely remain elevated through August and people could be displaced from their homes for weeks and even months, government officials have said.