For most in the path of the Maquoketa River, it was a catastrophe averted. What you see to the left is the aftermath of the Lake Delhi Dam collapsing into the river, sending a massive amount of water hurtling towards two towns, Hopkinton and Monticello. Since this was an event unlike anything ever seen, authorities feared the worst. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
A massive surge of water came screaming past the dam when it collapsed, taking a county road with it. But the force of the water was dispersed before it reached any communities, thanks to miles of rural farmland taking the brunt of the impact.
There was still tremendous damage done. Areas surrounding the lake were badly hit. Several boats and other debris were washed down stream of the dam. This was what concerned the Iowa State Patrol most, but fortunately, the distance and rural farmland that stood between the breach and the towns of Hopkinton and Monticello saved the two towns from catastrophe.
The damage, though, is done. Lake Delhi will never be the same. The dam was privately owned and now the hard task of determining what to do next begins.
I want to take a moment to thank EVERYONE who logged in during our coverage of this disaster on Saturday. And I want to especially thank the brave people who ventured out in this flood to help us bring live coverage. Saturday was by far the busiest web traffic we’ve ever seen on Iowachase.com and it’s in large part to the contributions of Dan Gottschalk and Jessie Gavin. Their reports from the scene gave thousands in Iowa and across the country the first and most accurate information on what was going on. Dan took some amazing photos and you can find all of those on his website by clicking here.
Once again I want to thank everyone, and remember the best part of this disaster… no one was hurt. The best news of all on a terrible Saturday.