UPDATE: Lake Delhi Dam devastation - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Lake Delhi Dam devastation

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DELHI (KWWL)---Recovery efforts at the Lake Delhi dam are underway.  The dam there failed Saturday afternoon, sending flood waters down the Maquoketa River.

Sunday, waters continued to rush down stream through the broken Lake Delhi dam.  For those who've been around this lake most of their lives, it is still hard to grasp what has happened here.

"This is just a shock.  I'm used to jumping off the rock on the other side of the dam and never imagined something like this would happen in my lifetime," said Rod Cory, whose parents have a cabin at the lake.

The shore lines are littered with debris, from small items like this fan to large pieces of metal.  Several boats and docks are in ruins.

The best news is thankfully the river levels have started to go down.  You can see in the distance where boats were once docked.  They're now at least sitting on the silt.  There's no more water rushing through there as it was when the flooding first began.  But officials here do tell us that despite what it may look like now, they do have plans to rebuild the dam and Lake Delhi better than they were before.

"They were in the process of creating hydro-energy here.  And you know in our state, a priority is renewable energy.  So this was one piece of the pie to include hydro-electricity in that process.  So I think we have to key on that and rebuild towards that," said Iowa Senator Tom Hancock.

Federal and state legislators are already getting the wheels turning to relief to this area that will help in the clean-up efforts and eventual re-building. 

"We are committed to bringing Lake Delhi back.  And it's going to be a long struggle.  It's going to take a lot of cooperation from a lot of folks, but we will be back," Jim Willey, president of the Lake Delhi Association.

The process will likely take years before the river, lake, and dam return to anything like they were before this massive flood.

Meanwhile, many of the roads around Lake Delhi remain closed as a precaution.  For safety reasons, officials urge the public to not drive or walk around established barricades.

KWWL Reporter: Kera Mashek

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