Residents in the central Iowa town of Colfax are growing weary, waiting for the Skunk River to fall. Two of the four roads into town are still closed, including Highway 117 just south of Interstate 80. Jasper County resident Richard Teed lives three miles west of Colfax and his home is still surrounded by water.
“You don’t want me to tell you what I would tell Mother Nature,” Teed says. “I’ve told it to it myself and out loud by myself but it’s incredible.” Teed says a quick trip into town now requires several detours. He says he’ll be relieved when the water retreats. Some 300 Colfax residents were forced from their homes last Wednesday morning.
Denny Smith lives and works near Highway 117, which still has water pouring across both lanes. Smith suspects most of his belongings are a total loss but says he still holds out hope for the equipment he works on at Imperial Motors. “There’s some things I could start doing if I could get down there, a machine or two I could get out of the water, get the water out of it and get it running and stuff,” Smith says. “The quicker you do that, I can save it. It’s a 20 to $25,000 piece of equipment.”
Smith says he’s spent hours just sitting and watching the water rise and fall. When he evacuated, he only grabbed a few items of clothing assuming his trailer would take on two to three feet of water. Instead, the flooding reached beyond six feet.