The body of a 16-year-old was recovered about ten hours after three cars traveling on an unlit rural road east of Altoona were swept into floodwaters early Wednesday morning.
The group of drivers and passengers ranged in age from 15 to 21 and one of the young women called 911, but the call dropped off. Emergency officials used GPS technology to track the phone and rescue efforts began before dawn along Mud Creek, just south of Interstate 80 in Polk County. Ten of the teenagers were found clinging to trees and logs. The body of 16-year-old Jessica Webb was found Wednesday afternoon about a tenth of a mile from where authorities found one of the submerged cars.
On the east side of Des Moines, about 140 people were evacuated from homes and apartments along Four Mile Creek. Trudy Gordon says when her neighbor called at 3:15 Wednesday morning, she moved her electronic gadgets to higher ground, but had no hope of saving her sofa, china cabinet or hope chest.
“My house and the four houses to the south of me were all built after ’93 and they were built to levels that they thought would never flood,” she says. “Sure, I’ve had water in my yard, but it’s never really threatened my house, so this is pretty devastating.”
The main level of Gordon’s home had about three feet of water, but Gordon was expressing relief Wednesday because she had purchased flood insurance in March.