Hurricane Delta causes major flooding in Iowa

Iowa Flooding

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Hurricane Delta wasn’t as strong as Laura but it brought a new set of problems.

Flooding was a major problem across much of Southwest Louisiana as a result of Delta. The Town of Iowa was one of the hardest-hit areas.

“It happened and we had water up to the door, all these cars and truck, my grandsons truck was covered," said Dorothy who evacuated to her daughter’s home in the Dogwood Subdivision.

Over the years, the Dogwood Subdivision has seen its fair share of high water, so, residents typically know what to expect.

“This the highest I have ever seen it, I didn’t think it would get that high...I thought it would just wet the floors but it got really high," said one resident.

Other parts of the town that haven’t flooded since the 1980′s, according to Mayor Paul Hesse took on more than 17 inches of floodwater.

“Our main street Thompson...our main street Miller Ave. All of that had water across it at some point,” said Mayor Hesse.

Prior to Delta’s arrival, the town was able to secure about 75 percent of debris from Hurricane Laura. Any less than that, Hess says would have led to a more far worse outcome in terms of how fast the water receded.

“Unfortunately, with having 17 inches...all that rain couldn’t leave out, so we did have flooding in houses that normally don’t flood as well as flooding in places that normally see floodwaters. When we made it about 1 o’clock A.M. (Saturday), it had already started receding,” said Mayor Hesse.

Having felt the brunt of the eyewall of both Hurricane Laura and Hurricane Delta, Hess says the damage exceeds most of their annual budget.

“The damage amounts to about two million dollars," Hess said. "If you’re talking about 2 million, how does that reflect? That’s about 60 to 70 percent of our revenue.”

Having both Laura and Delta serve as cautionary tales, Hess says his long-term goal is to make sure the town is fully ready for the next disaster.

“We do know we need to have an emergency response center that can tolerate category 4 and category 5 hurricanes," Hesse said. "That was extremely obvious with having to put our people all over the place and try to respond to emergencies and get back.”

Much of the high water from Hurricane Delta caused nearby canals to flood. Hess said for those assessing damage to their homes, to be very careful because some wildlife, such as water moccasins and fish have been finding their way into nearby homes due to all of the floodwater.

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