Eldon is still recovering from a flash flood Thursday night that swept out a concrete pier and collapsed a 40-foot section of sewer pipe. Eldon Mayor Jerry Lee Potts says between 7.5 to 11 inches of rain fell in a two-hour period.
“Very few people that weren’t affected,” Potts says. “…It was a lot deeper than people realize and it was rushing. If you see some of the damages down there, you’ll see how intense…Tubes washed out from under the roads.”
The mayor says this flood is worse than the flooding that hit Eldon 28 years ago.
“City Hall had three foot more water than we had in the flood of ’93. It wiped out the whole basement underneath there,” Potts says. “There’s been numerous homes throughout the community, a lot larger amount of damages than in ’93 because it was a flash flood and it came too fast, too quick and they just couldn’t get away.”
Given the amount of water that quickly swept through, they’re fortunate there were no fatalities. He says there is a report that a semi was submerged and several homes are total losses. The mayor says it’s tough to get around town right now.
“The waters have receded and where there’s more shops and stuff, we’ve got those barricaded off for safety reasons,” Potts says. “We’ll be working throughout the week getting those repairs done, so we can get some of those opened back up.”
The Department of Natural Resources is cautioning residents to keep children and pets away from the area until at least 24 to 48 hours after repairs are completed. If you’d like to volunteer to help with the cleanup in Eldon, call Wapello County Emergency Management at 641-814-8333.
(Reporting by Joe Lancello, KBOE, Oskaloosa)