DES MOINES — The Lake Delhi dam in eastern Iowa failed Saturday as rising floodwater from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in the earthen dam, causing water to drop 45 feet to the river below and threatening the small town of Hopkinton.
Northeast Iowa has been inundated with torrential rain in recent days with as much as 9 inches being reported in some locations. The heavy rain has pushed the Maquoketa River to 23.92 feet — more than 2 feet above its previous record of 21.66 feet in 2004.
Jack Klaus, a spokesman with the Delaware County emergency management office, said warning sirens were sounding in Hopkinton as water began to surround homes there Saturday afternoon.
Areas below and above the dam had been evacuated, including numerous cabins and homes — as many as 700 — above the dam because of high water.
"There's going to be significant losses of property there," Klaus said.
And I live down river from this, and the flood wall is expected to be in the area in a few hours. And our communities power plant was wisely built right on the river, which will be flooded out.