Lake Flight

Iowa Flood Victims Left High and Dry

Residents of Delaware County, Iowa, couldn't have possibly predicted that their cherished Lake Delhi, man-made but almost a century old, would disappear virtually overnight—but that's exactly what happened this weekend. Now, after heavy rain broke the lake's privately owned dam, its community is left to deal with plummeting property values, missing boats, disastrous flooding downstream, and no federal aid to help defray the costs. County residents had repeatedly declined to enroll in the National Flood Insurance Program, even after major floods in 2008, with County Supervisor Shirley Helmrichs citing the "noose" of bureaucratic "strings attached" to the program. Residents' last hope is for President Obama to declare the lake a disaster area, which would possibly qualify for some primary homes to receive aid, though the many vacation homes in the area will still be without help.