Around two dozen recreational vehicles were badly damaged by flash flooding early this morning at a campground on Des Moines’ east side. Heavy rains sent Four Mile Creek out of its banks and the waters surrounded the R-Vs parked at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park.

Eric Rasmussen of Leon abandoned his R-V late last night and returned at 7 o’clock this morning. He was surprised to see firefighters using boats to rescue campers from their flooded-out trailers.

“I was just shocked,” Rasmussen said. “We didn’t expect this, no one would expect this. It’s just one of those unfortunate events you can’t really predict.” Most of the other campers were planning to stay at Sleepy Hollow while attending the Iowa State Fair. This afternoon, they were waiting for the waters to recede so tow trucks could remove their R-Vs.

Rasmussen bought his Denali camper three years ago. “More than likely it’s going to be totaled. You know, I’ll have to deal with insurance, but it can’t be good…anytime you have a floor that’s been sitting in water,” Rasmussen said. Heavy rains brought flash flooding to much of central and south-central Iowa overnight.

The National Weather Service reported just over 5 inches of rain in Ames and around 4 inches in Albia, Newton and Nevada.