Flood Overview: Sunday drive down the Maquoketa River - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Flood Overview: Sunday drive down the Maquoketa River


MAQUOKETA (KWWL) -- A Sunday afternoon drive down the Maquoketa River revealed some shocking scenes of flood devastation and areas where people were still watching the water rise.

Producer Mike Verlo started in Independence, which is not on the Maquoketa River, but was along the way from Waterloo. The Wapsipinicon River at Independence was falling from its Saturday crest of 18.77 feet. That's well below the historical crest of 22.35 ft in 1999.

The next stop on the journey was in Lamont. The water level in the creek along Pine Street, which was dealing with heavy flash flooding Friday, had fallen back to regular levels. You could see where the grass had been knocked down by the current and a small landslide had occurred in one place.

Backbone State Park looked more like a mud pit Sunday than a recreation area. Half of the beach had a mud film covering it as water continued at a steady pace over the dam.

Water was flowing freely over the dam holding back Quaker Mill Pond on the western edge of Manchester. The view from Quaker Mill Drive showed how much higher the water was when it crested a day earlier. You could see the water line in the trees in the background.

Driving through Delhi, you could tell that people were uneasy about what had happened a day earlier. County Road X31 was blocked off by authorities at the edge of town, preventing most spectators from getting down to the scene of the dam devastation. The lake crossing at 220th Ave. was packed with traffic. People had pulled their cars over on the side of the road staring and taking pictures of the lake that once was. County Road X31 was open from the south, and people could get within several hundred feet of the broken Lake Delhi dam. The scene a day before was one of disbelief, as heavy rainfall resulting 7.2 million pounds of force was just too much for the old dam. A mobile home in the water's path could be seen Sunday evening completely destroyed, pushed back into the trees by the force of the water.  The words "7/24/2010 Help" were painted on the siding.

A few miles downstream from the dam you will find Hopkinton. On the southern edge of town, County Road D47 had been completely washed under water a day earlier. Sunday evening, the road was back open, but the fields around it were covered in mud. Much like the tree line in Manchester, the shrubs in the field showed a crest at least ten feet above the ground.

The Jones County Fairgrounds in Monticello had taken on quite a bit of water and businesses on the northern edge of town could be seen in the reflections of the many standing pools of water surrounding them.

Maquoketa at sunset Sunday evening was a scene of dedicated sandbagging. North Main Street (Hwy 61) was closed to traffic because water was up to the bridge. Sandbags completely surrounded the city's power plant and just the top few inches of corn were visible in fields north of the city. The next morning, the water had risen a few more inches and would go on that afternoon to crest at a record 35.26 feet. That passed the previous record of 34.09 feet set on June 5, 2002.

Flooded farmland along Highway 62 north of Maquoketa continued Monday. Cows appeared annoyed by the liquid invader, being forced to graze on higher ground. Rows of corn looked out of place being at least 6 feet under water.

Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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