Despite breach, Delhi dam break won't cause big problems - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Despite breach, Delhi dam break won't cause big problems

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The breach of the temporary dam at Lake Delhi. (Caitlin Harbach, KWWL) The breach of the temporary dam at Lake Delhi. (Caitlin Harbach, KWWL)
LAKE DELHI (KWWL) -

A break in a temporary dam at Lake Delhi shouldn't cause too many issues, said Steve Leonard, President of the combined Lake Delhi District.

Heavy flooding in 2010 caused the dam to breach, emptying out Lake Delhi.

Construction on a new dam started last year, but suffered a bit of a setback this weekend.

Leonard said they believe heavy rainfall caused a 10- to 12-foot section of a temporary dam, called a cofferdam, to collapse, allowing water to flow through it.

That cofferdam was keeping the area behind it dry so crews could build a brand-new spillway.

Engineers and construction crews will now have to wait for things to dry up a bit before they can figure out how to move forward, Leonard said.  But he added he didn't expect much of a delay, if any, on the project.

"Our goal is still to be complete by October 23," he said. "What happened here yesterday may have an impact of a week or two or three, we just don't know yet. We'll have more information in the days to come once the water level is fully receded."

They should know the full extent of any delays by the middle of the week, he added.

Meanwhile, people living down the stream don't have to worry about flooding.

Leonard said officials with the National Weather Service told him the river may have risen a few inches for a couple of hours.

"We weren't storing a lot of water upstream, so it didn't impact anybody upstream," he said. "As it relates to downstream, from what I understand from the authorities, the river level may have gone up just for a couple of hours and just a matter of inches, so that's really irrelevant."

Leonard said people in the district will see no extra cost because of the break. He also said they should see a full lake by the end of the year.

"We're full-steam ahead on this thing," he said.

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