Demolition crews have started knocking down most of the town of Elkport, Iowa.
In May of 2004, intense rains and an overwhelmed dike left the small town of Elkport submerged. The homes in the town were deemed unsafe, so the federal government bought out the properties and on Monday heavy machinery started knocking things down.
Elkport Mayor Roger Bolsinger was among a small group of former Elkport residents who watched ruined homes get smashed into piles of debris. “Thinking of all the people that lost their homes down here, people that are moved out, people that are gone. Some have passed away since the flood,” Bolsinger said. “Just kind of sad to see it all end.”
Elkport existed as a town for more than a century. LaVonne Schroeder was there to watch it end. “It’s heartbreaking, but after I saw what the house looked like, and I mean with a foot and a half of slime, you knew you didn’t want to come back,” Schroeder said.
Two years after the flood, Peggy Schoeder still wonders why their town got washed away. “It’s unbelievable is what it is that a flood could actually come through here and take a whole town, take all the memories away,” Peggy Schroeder said.
Twenty-seven homes will be crushed, along with most of the rest of the structures in town. A few buildings will remain standing. The church, the school house and the bank’s fate remains uncertain, though. Former residents would like to turn most of the land into some sort of a campground.