Congressman Bruce Braley is chiding people for jumping to any conclusions about the Lake Delhi Dam that failed last weekend.
“There’s a tremendous amount of misinformation floating around about what did or did not happen to manage this event before the dam collapsed,” Braley says. “…It’s very important for people to take a step back, make sure they have all the facts about how this event unfolded before they judge anyone.”
Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, represents the area in congress. He says the dam is privately-owned and the road that went along the top of the dam is publicly-owned.
“Rather than getting into any ‘blame game’ right now, the most important thing is for state, local and elected officials and these private homeowners and associations to try to come together and think of creative solutions on how we can get this dam restored, how we can get the lake rebuilt and how we can continue to have the type of place that will benefit the entire region,” Braley says.
Braley calls the situation a “real tragedy,” as the Lake Delhi Recreation Association was making improvements to the dam when it collapsed. “(They) had a crane in the water and building materials there by the side of the road and I watched that crane wash over the dam and float downstream, so the incredibly poor timing of all this couldn’t be more severe and that’s why my heart goes out to everybody that’s being effected by this and it’s really not the time for any type of recrimination,” Braley says. “It’s the time for problem solving.”
According to Braley, it’s “way too soon” to put a dollar amount on how much may be required to fix the dam and the road which ran over it. “The goal is to try to get the dam repaired, to get the lake filled up as quickly as possible so people will want to stay in the area and won’t want to abandon those properties because of the enormous economic value they have,” Braley says.
About 900 homes surrounded Lake Delhi and about a third were damaged or destroyed in last week’s flooding.