Deluge In The Dark: Flooding in Iowa - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Deluge In The Dark: Flooding in Iowa


From August 2007:

Sunday night's rains brought more flooding to the area.

Some of the flooding came to a town that escaped it last week.

Parts of Dorchester, Iowa, a town about 20 minutes south of Caledonia, were evacuated this morning.

It started with rain, and ended with an explosion.

Ernie Engman thought the rains were just a simple shower, until he looked outside.

"It was already up over the wheels on my vehicle," he said.

Fire fighters from a nearby town were called in, and all the trailers were evacuated.

"We were lucky we had most of 'em out of it. Seen the creek coming up, it had the banks full and was up in town here in 10 minutes. It came up real quick," said Charlie Kruse, the Fire Chief in Eitzen.

A small creek flowed by a trailer park. The rains raised the waters to the point it completely flooded the park and knocked some of LP gas tanks free.

And one of the loose gas tanks sprang a leak.

"We were under the impression the LP tanks were all turned off. Well, we got back and we were watching, and the LP tank broke loose and hit the trailer house here," said Kruse.

Firefighters couldn't stop it in the fast moving flood waters.

"It caught fire and exploded the trailer up here," explains Kruse.

Luckily no one was inside the trailer, and no one was hurt, but the trailer is a complete loss.

Now, residents fear this isn't the end. "If we get more rain tomorrow or tonight, everybody better stay on high grounds," says Engman.

Like most of the 40 people who live in the town, Ernie says most of his damage is on the exterior. And waters receded almost as quickly as they rose.

Because the waters were receding, authorities hoped to let residents back into their homes by the end of the day.

LP gas tank companies were out removing the rest of the tanks that were leaking gas.

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