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Author Topic: Catastrophic release of water’ pours over failed Lake Delhi dam  (Read 2041 times)

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Offline aardvark

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  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Des Moines, Iowa, USA
    • Des Moines, Iowa Weather and Climate
not near me but same state


Catastrophic release of water’ pours over failed Lake Delhi dam
Blog post by Daniel Finney • dafinney@dmreg.com • July 24, 2010



           By ADAM BELZ and DANIEL P. FINNEY

Delhi, Ia. — Iowa flooding worries increased  as a 200-foot breach opened at the top of the Lake Delhi Dam Saturday against the waters of the rain-swollen lake it held back since 1922.

The dam failed at about 10:30 a.m., and shortly before 1 p.m. uncontrolled water gushed over the top of Delaware County Road X31.

The dam failure realized officials’ worst fears of “a catastrophic release of water,” said David Fink, Lake Delhi dam operation manager. “It’s going to have a hell of a lot of velocity.”

Disaster management officials evacuated some of the 900 people in the nearby resort community and worried eyes turned toward Hopkinton, pop. 650, and Monticello, pop. 3,700, downstream along the Maquoketa River.

Chunks of the two-lane highway broke off in 15- and 30-foot blocks and washed away. The iron guard rail snapped and flapped in the wind like a party streamer as the water rushed by.

Volunteer firefighters ushered onlookers away from the dam as utility poles slid into the water, snapping power lines.

A propane tank under the dam exploded and flamed out after about 20 seconds. Boats drifting on the lake tumbled over the dam.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, watched the disaster on site Saturday afternoon. He pledged to call the White House to push for a federal disaster declaration, opening up federal money to help with clean up.

Governor Chet Culver is in Monticello talking to emergency personnel. He has activated the National Guard to the area. He also activated the state Emergency Operation Center out of Camp Dodge, which will coordinate emergency activities.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2010, 08:04:25 PM by aardvark »
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