Flood dam­age in east­ern Iowa ex­pected to run into mil­lions

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

MON­TI­CELLO, Iowa — Flood­ing from the Maquoketa River af­ter the Lake Delhi dam failed has dam­aged dozens of homes and busi­nesses, caus­ing mil­lions of dol­lars in dam­age in Mon­ti­cello, of­fi­cials said Sun­day.

The Lake Delhi dam in east­ern Iowa failed Satur­day as ris­ing flood­wa­ters from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in it. Ar­eas be­low the dam, in­clud­ing in Hop­kin­ton and Mon­ti­cello, were evac­u­ated.

“It is sim­ply un­be­liev­able. This is un­prece­dented. We’ve had floods be­fore, and we’ve al­ways been able to con­tain the sit­u­a­tion and min­i­mize the dam­age, but with Mother Na­ture’s fury ... there was no way to do any­thing about it,” said Mike Wil­ley, pres­i­dent of the board of di­rec­tors at the Lake Delhi Recre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion. “There was sim­ply too much wa­ter.”

The river crested up­stream of the dam at Manch­ester early Satur­day af­ter­noon at 24.53 feet — more than 10 feet above flood stage and well above its 2004 record of 21.66 feet — be­fore it be­gan to slowly re­cede.

About 50 homes and 20 busi­nesses had ma­jor flood dam­age and the city’s sewer plant had been flooded and shut down about 7 p.m. Satur­day, said Mon­ti­cello Pub­lic Works Di­rec­tor Dana Ed­wards.

Dam­age to pri­vate prop­erty prob­a­bly will be in the mil­lions of dol­lars, Ed­wards said. The cost of re­pair­ing the sewer The Maquoketa River in Iowa cut through the Lake Delhi dam Satur­day. About 50 homes and 20 busi­nesses were dam­aged. plant won’t be known un­til work­ers can get in­side to as­sess the dam­age.

The hy­dro­elec­tric dam that cre­ated Lake Delhi in the 1920s is no longer used for power but main­tains the lake for recre­ational pur­poses.

Mike Bur­ley

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