Flooding Wreaks Havoc on Guthrie County

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GUTHRIE COUNTY, Iowa -- Tim Janssen and his family have lived in the same home in Bayard for 15 years, but this is the first time their basement has been flooded. The Janssen family now has to throw away everything that was in their basement, because it was ruined by  six inches of flooding.

The Janssen family had already remodeled their house, but now in the wake of the flooding they will have to start all over. Tim Janssen says it's not the toys, furniture, and clothing that gets he and his family upset; it's the family photos that suffered damage as a result of getting wet, which really frustrates them.  Referring to the photos that were damaged by the flooding, Janssen said  "These are what mean something to us, yeah...a lot of work putting all these scrap books together." On Monday, the Janssen family was doing what they could to try and salvage the photo albums by letting them air out.

The flooding also destroyed Sean Schroeder's brand new Ford Fusion. Schroeder, a local volunteer firefighter was out working Sunday night. Schroeder says his new car was parked in the garage at the time, but that didn't matter, because the water came in anyway and ruined the vehicle.

"About 8:30 last night, we lost power. It clicked off, and we came outside and we looked and the straight line winds were just blowing 70 miles an hour, I swear, and the rain was coming down in sheets. It was bending trees," said Bayard resident Geri Shirbroun, who was at home when the weather intensified.

The flooding caused road closures and detours. Highway 141 from from Highway 4 to Coon Rapids was shut down, and won't re-open until sometime late in the evening Tuesday night, according to Highway Maintenance Supervisor Jeff VanderZwaag. VanderZwaag says the flooding in the area was the worst he's ever seen it.

In the community of Bagley the flooding made history, creating a new high water mark, which exceeded the previous record from June 30, 1986.  The previous record was at around four feet, according to Bagley Fire Chief Jeremy Cooper. The new high water mark surpassed the previous one by a few inches.


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