Delhi flood gate didn't open because it was broken - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Delhi flood gate didn't open because it was broken

DELHI (KWWL)---Recovery at Lake Delhi continues.  But following this disaster, there are still a lot of questions about just how the flood waters were able to breach the dam.  We know one of the flood gates didn't open.  And now we know why.

These images clearly show that one of the flood gates on the Delhi Dam is not fully open like the others.  It turns out that dam operators opened the gate as far as they could, but parts of the door weren't working properly.  Even if the gate did open, it likely would not have lessened the extreme flooding, and the damage that resulted.

"The water going out of the gates was actually more than 100 percent of its design capacity.  And it would've made no difference.  Everything was done that could be done.  But the overtopping of the dam, which caused the ultimate breach, would've done it under any circumstances," said Jim Willey, Delhi Lake Association President.

It's tough news for some of those who've lost everything to swallow.  But other lakeside residents feel that dam workers did all they could during unprecedented circumstances.

"I'm absolutely positive that they did everything they could.  They knew what needed to happen and I know they did all they could," said flood victim Miranda Kanake.

Miranda Kanake's lived in this home with her parents all her life.  It's now in ruins, gutted to the studs after flood waters came into the house for the first time ever.

"Even the day that it started to get high, I really only thought it would get to maybe touching our front yard since that's the worst it's ever been in the past," Kanake said.

Kanake's grandmother has also spent a lifetime on the lake.  And she says she's never seen or heard of this much devastation from Delhi's waters.

"We never have had a flood like this.  My father never talked about a flood.  He talked about floods, but said it never got in the house that was sitting in this same position," said Marcheta Cooey.

Now that the damage is done this family is left trying to pick up the pieces after a flooding event of historic proportions.  And like many other folks here, they have every intention to re-build and wait for their beloved lake to be restored.

There's also some anxiety at the lake since more rain is predicted to fall this week.  Lake Delhi Association president Jim Willey says that any significant rainfall now, without a dam in place, would be even more catastrophic than what unfolded this past weekend.

There are also some concerns about Delaware County residents not being able to get money from flood assistance programs.  That's because the county previously opted not to join the National Flood Insurance Program.  But the county board of supervisors says it is now committed to joining that program so that victims of the recent flooding will be eligible for some assistance.

KWWL Reporter: Kera Mashek

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