Failed Lake Delhi dam in Iowa could include small hydro project once rebuilt

Owners of the failed Lake Delhi dam in eastern Iowa said the dam will be rebuilt and might again produce hydroelectric power, according to wire reports.

The Lake Delhi dam, which has not produced electricity for decades, could be rebuilt to include a hydro plant with a capacity of about 1.5 megawatts, wire reports indicate.

The dam failed July 24 as rising floodwater from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in it. Areas below the dam, including in Hopkinton and Monticello, were evacuated.

The breach drained the 9-mile-long reservoir, which is surrounded by homes and cabins.

Lake Delhi Recreation Association President Jim Willey said an engineering firm is working on plans to rebuild the dam, originally constructed in 1927.

The dam generated power until the 1970s, and Willey says a rebuilt dam could do so again.

“We are going to do everything we can to make sure Lake Delhi is restored, that the dam is rebuilt and that it makes power as the water flows,” Willey told the Des Moines Register.

No timeline was given for the reconstruction project.

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