Gates close, Lake Delhi fill up begins - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Gates close, Lake Delhi fill up begins

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LAKE DELHI (KWWL) -

It's been a year six days in the making: Lake Delhi is now in the process of being filled once again.

Construction was just completed on the $16 million dam, and officials lowered the third floodgate Friday afternoon, marking a very welcome time for many lake owners.

"Absolutely fabulous," Dave Kretz said. "It's been a long 6 years."

For many who saw the disastrous flood that wiped out the original dam and drained the nine mile long lake, they thought this day might never come.

"I could tell you that I would've never, that day, though we'll never get this rebuilt.  I really didn't. And it was horrifying to watch houses disappear. We saw DNR boats going through, destroying all kinds of boats. I just didn't think we could ever recover. But you know what, a tremendous amount of people preserved and they made this happen," said Jeff Madlom, a Delaware County Supervisor.

But that day has come, and two of the gates are completely closed, the third open just eight inches to allow the minimum amount of water to flow downstream.

"I'm just ecstatic for our community, I'm ecstatic for our businesses, I'm ecstatic for anyone and everyone who loves to be on the lake. It's here, it's on its way," Leonard said.

He added, "Our community has been waiting a long, long time. And now it's here, and it's in mother nature's hands to get this thing filled up as quick as possible."

Leonard said it could take a few days to a few weeks for the lake to fill, "It all depends on mother nature," he said.

It's probably the first time lake residents have hoped for rain.

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