Members of the Lake Delhi Recreation Association will be footing the bill to move all the flood debris from their yards to a garbage collection site on public property. State and county officials have rejected sending in dump trucks to the private property.
Governor Culver met with some of the 900 property owners around the northeast Iowa lake today and said he’s working on getting federal assistance. “This is all going to take a lot of time and require a great deal of patience but I think if we take that approach and we all stick together maybe somehow we can come out of this better and stronger than we were before,” Culver said.
The dam on Lake Delhi burst on Saturday after last week’s heavy rain. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed around the lake and downstream.
Iowa Emergency Management Division Administrator David Miller, who toured the Lake Delhi area Sunday, says the state won’t send in dump trucks – primarily for liability reasons. “There’s always some concern initially about using public assets on private property and the liability issues,” Miller said. “We’ve begun to work through all those issues and make sure we can take care of citizens up there. Each of us will play our role and at the end of the day, we’ll sort out what’s reimbursable from the feds.”
Many of the private roads around the lake are narrow and not made for heavy equipment. That means residents will need to move their own flood damaged material to a former landfill on public property. Miller says the Lake Delhi Association is working with a contractor and volunteers to help residents move the debris to the collection site. From there, Delaware County will pay to move the material to a landfill in Dubuque.
Miller says all of the work being done to move the debris may be reimbursable from FEMA if Governor Culver’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration is granted.