Flood damage in eastern Iowa expected to run into millions
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.