LAKE DELHI, Iowa — After six difficult and dry years, there are signs that Lake Delhi is finally coming back to life.
A married couple that has a family cabin at the lake says there’s hope that what has felt like a nightmare for them, may finally be over.
Paul and Cindy Gerken will never forget the day nearly six years ago when the dam broke and Lake Delhi flooded nearby homes, including their family cabin. “Just like flushing a toilet, when the dam broke, so everything just went swirling around and out,” said Paul.
Cindy says it felt like everything happened in slow motion. “It was kind of surreal watching the water come up…to watch that water come up as far as it did into the cabin… we’d never thought would happen,” said Cindy. “It came up as high as almost to the roof of the shelter, which is totally unfathomable,” said Cindy.
A lot of stuff floated in that day. “We just had a yard full of boats and docks and boathouses and debris and fish all over the yard,” said Cindy. The Gerkens say it’s been a long six years since that day, describing it as dry, quiet, and somber. But now, slowly but surely, the lake is starting to fill again, and it’s time to rebuild and get ready. “It’s kind of exciting too. We’re finally here. We’re finally gonna get some water back in this thing,” said Paul.
“I said to my husband, oh my gosh, listen to the life that’s back here. You could hear people mowing and laughing and music playing. You could just tell that the energy was back and people were excited to have it back,” said Cindy.
Just how soon the lake will fill up is largely dependent upon how much rainfall the area gets.