HAMBURG, Iowa — Hundreds of people leaving flood-threatened homes on the rising Missouri River might not be able to return before late summer.
The river is set to reach peak flows within days but won't return to normal levels until September as officials manage swollen reservoirs.
Hamburg, Iowa, officials are skeptical about whether two levees protecting their town will withstand the onslaught and have ordered half the town to evacuate. They warn any water that surges into Hamburg will be there to stay.
The timeline has even veteran river-town residents resigned. They're packing belongings to last a season and face weeks without an income. One Hamburg business-owner has already taken most merchandise out of his auto parts store and said the precaution alone will cost him $35,000 in a month, even if the store remains dry.