Lake Delhi boats sold at Linn Co. auction - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Lake Delhi boats sold at Linn Co. auction

LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -- Boats that got swept down river when the Lake Delhi dam broke in July found new owners on Sunday.

A crowd of hundreds showed up for the boat and RV auction at Hoge's Then and Now Auction House.

"This is the way they turn out for a farm auction. This is unreal. This is boats and trailers and campers," Lake Delhi resident Harry Tenney remarked as he surveyed the crowd and long stretch of parked cars along Highway 13.

Auction house employees said more than 50 percent of the items at the auction were in some way affected by the broken dam at Lake Delhi. That includes both watercraft that swept down river and boats whose owners lived elsewhere but found they no longer had a body of water for their recreation.

Jim Schnoor, who has a house on the lake, had a boat at Sunday's auction. He remembers trying to keep it from sweeping downstream.

"We were trying to position it to put it on the guides to get it back on the shore station," Schnoor said. "Well, the water dropped so fast, we ran out of time."

His boat ended up resting in his own lake bed property, but others weren't so lucky. Some of those people came looking for replacement watercraft after the flood got the worst of what they already owned.

"My boat was found in two pieces, split lengthwise, and my pontoon boat hasn't been found yet," auction attendee Fred Williams said.

There were also people who just came in search of a deal.

"I'm looking for a camper for my kids, about a 26-footer, pull-type," browser Scott Dryer said, who came from Cedar Rapids from the auction. He said he hoped to find a good deal.

Many said they saw it as a win-win situation, including Margaret Lincoln, whose family came looking for a boat, which she said they had been wanting for while.

"It helps everybody out, so I think it's a good thing," Lincoln said.

"People use the money to rebuild," Tenney said.

The Hartwick Huskies Ski Team lost its boat lifts and docks during the flood. Team members sold concessions at the auction and raised $700.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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