Flash flooding caused $680,000 in damage last month in Cedar County, Iowa, according to a rapid assessment estimate compiled by Tim Malott, the county's emergency management director.

Damage was heaviest in Lowden, where 6.6 inches of rain fell in about six hours early June 24, overwhelming three creeks, said Steve Gottschalk, a National Weather Service observer and resident who was rescued by boat from his home.

"It was a freak thing," said Liz Norton, the owner of the town's Lincoln Hotel. "There was this huge cloud that just stood over Lowden."

Lowden, population 786, is on U.S. 30, about 25 miles west of DeWitt.

The fast-flowing water inundated low-lying areas, severely damaging four houses, including Gottschalk's, temporarily closing a grain elevator and a truck stop and washing out the approach to a bridge on the Hoover Highway, or County Road Y-14, that remains closed, Malott said.

A meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the American Legion Hall in Lowden for residents whose property was damaged, he said.

The purpose of the meeting is to bring residents up to date on what's been done, what remains to be done and what kinds of financial assistance might be available, including reimbursement for any appliances lost and the possible buyout of homes in the floodplain.

"I'm encouraging everybody to keep all receipts," Malott said.

His assessment is that four homes in Lowden sustained "catastrophic" damage, meaning the cost of cleanup and fix-up would come to at least 50 percent of their value.

In addition, many residents had flooding in their basements and lost appliances such as washers, dryers, furnaces and water heaters.

In some cases, the appliances were new, having been replaced after flooding in April, Gottschalk said.

The city is providing special pickup of water-soaked goods as well as appliances, and the county continues to restore roads.

"A lot of gravel is being put down," Malott said.

Although Lowden was hit hardest, the Cedar County communities of Bennett, Clarence, Stanwood and Tipton also had flooding, he said.

(1) comment

Common Sense 50
Common Sense 50

Don't forget Wheatland, my daughter's house was hit so hard and fast that day with the flash flood moving in from Lowden that it pushed part of it off the foundation, flung open the garage door and deposited 3-4 feet of corn stalks throughout the garage and filled her basement to top plus ruining all of her downstairs rooms. She has had to relocate until the insurance can decide what to do. We have lived in the family home for 17 years and never had more than an inch or two in the basement which the sump pump promptly took care of. AND, this was the 2nd flood for her, on April 18 flash flooding filled her basement and ruined the furnace and items in the garage!! the first flood was crazy, the second flood was INSANITY!!

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