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Eastern Iowa dam failure causes massive flooding

By Leo Reyes     Jul 25, 2010 in Environment
The Lake Delhi dam located 45 miles north of Cedar Rapids in eastern Iowa failed due to continued heavy rain Saturday, according to Jim Flansburg, communications director for Gov. Chet Culver.
The dam's failure caused massive flooding in nearby communities forcing the residents to move away from the flooded area to higher grounds.
Culver told CNN that nearly 10 inches of rain had recently fallen in a 12-hour period in the area and was "too much water for the dam to hold."
The roads on either side of the dam -- which were part of the cement dam's containment measures -- apparently gave out as a result of the rainfall, Flansburg told CNN.
No injuries or casualties were reported as residents of the affected areas were earlier advised of the impending floodwater.
Residents credited local authorities for the timely advise and warning though some of the residents were given only minutes to flee from the approaching flood waters.
Much of the flooding occurred in farm areas instead of well-populated neighborhoods, Flansburg said, adding a would-be catastrophe was avoided.
Flood waters were reported to be receding as of Saturday evening, according to Flansburg.
Lake Delhi dam created with the installation of an earthen hydroelectric dam in the 1920s. Over time, the area grew to become a popular recreation destination, with Turtle Creek Recreation Area established on its shores
Delhi is located on State Highway 38.
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