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ICE DAMAGE: Chunks of ice cause major damage in Fort Dodge | News

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ICE DAMAGE: Chunks of ice cause major damage in Fort Dodge

A Fort Dodge neighborhood is under water after an ice jam broke lose, causing the worst flooding in recent memory.

Last week's warm temperatures melted most of the snow on the ground. In Fort Dodge, it broke lose football sized pieces of ice on the Des Moines River. The ice chunks jammed up near the Breen Addition neighborhood on the north side of town.

"We got what we could but most of it is ruined," says Neven Conrad of Fort Dodge.

Conrad spent most of the morning hauling out wet clothes from three feet of water in his friend's basement apartment. At 3:30 a.m. Monday, a chunck of ice broke through what used to be a retaining wall and smashed right into the back door.

Saturday morning, water slowly began to rise towards the homes along the Des Moines River. Neighbors watched closely, but they weren't terribly concerned yet.

"Saturday night it sounded like a thunderstorm out here. I heard a low rumbling," says Ian Bartholomew.

That rumbling was pieces of ice hitting the back of Bartholomew's house.

"See the wall? No. That's because it's under water. There's almost 5 feet of water over that retaining wall.'

There wasn't much time to react. Ian did what he could before he was forced to evacuate.

"We had enough time to stack furniture on the counter tops and then - bam!"

Neighbor Dennis Frank was also surprised by how quickly the water rushed into his home. He went out, bought four pairs of waterproof pants and enlisted help from his family. They weren't able to save much.

"We're going get out let the water go down and see what the contractors say."

However, it could be weeks before that happens. Meanwhile, all the neighborhood can do is pack up, ship out and hope the rest of the ice moves down the river.

"What else are you going do? I'm not going to lay down in the water and cry about it. That won't do any good," says Frank.

The water is expected to crest sometime Tuesday afternoon.


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