Delhi Dam resident loses home, belongings - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Delhi Dam resident loses home, belongings


DELHI (KWWL)---John Burges, his girlfriend, and their family lived in this Delhi lakeside home year round. But what was once an oasis is now in shambles.

"When the road gave way, my house was gone. So it was floating in the river," Burges said.

You can see where this family used to live. Four bedrooms from the cabin were ripped away. And that means the family has lost all of their belongings.

"We lost all of our clothes. We don't have any clothes anymore. But a bunch of friends have given us some," said Jamie Comstock, flood victim.

It's friends like that who felt compelled to step up and help out following this disaster.

"They're just really good friends. I know they'd do the same for us if we were in that situation and needed their help," said Jennifer Chastain, friend of the flood victims.

But questions still remain about just how this happened and why one of the dam's flood gates was never opened.

"I'm like a lot of people and would just like to know why the gates weren't opened a lot sooner. I think that would've helped relieve some of the pressure," said Burges.

But despite those concerns, this family is thankful to be alive, and they're glad to have friends helping them cope with the aftermath of this dam disaster.

We did speak with lake officials Monday evening.  They indicated that even if the other flood gate had been opened, there's no guarantee it would have made a substantial enough difference to prevent the dam failure and subsequent flooding.

Additional notes:

A disaster relief center is available for those affected by the Delaware County flooding.  It is located at 601 Grant in Manchester.  The center can help coordinate assistance for food, clothing, toiletries, shelter, and even counseling services.  The center can be reached at 563-927-5116.

Flood debris can be dropped off for free starting Thursday at the old Delhi landfill.  It's located three miles south of town on Highway 38.  It will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for at least the next three weeks.  You're asked to separate items into three piles:  one for electronics, a second for household hazards items such as paint and cleaning supplies, and a third for construction materials and other debris, including carpet and furniture.  Yard waste will not be accepted at the flood debris site.

A volunteer hotline has also been established.  If you need volunteer help at your property, or would like to volunteer yourself to assist in clean-up efforts, call Barb at 563-922-2058.

Several donation jars are located in area businesses to help victims of this recent flooding.  John's Barbecue stand at Delhi Days this weekend will also be taking donations to help flood victims.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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