Flooding causes millions in damage following Iowa dam failure

Residents in Iowa were fleeing their homes Saturday as the Lake Delhi dam burst, causing flooding that resulted in millions of dollars in damage, according to reports from local media and wire services.

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. Heavy rainfall is believed to have caused the dam failure.

The Lake Delhi dam in eastern Iowa failed 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, according to Associated Press reports. 

The hydroelectric dam on the Maquoketa River that created Lake Delhi in the 1920s is no longer used for power generation.

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 recede, wire reports indicate.

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. 

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