LAKE DEHLI: Documentary Helps Residents Rebuild

Lake Delhi Dam

A new documentary chronicles an Iowa flooding disaster from 2010.

In July of 2010, heavy rains caused the Lake Delhi dam to break, sending the water and contents of the lake, including boats and docks, crashing down the Maquoketa River.

For lake area residents a new documentary is bringing up both good and painful memories.

“I’m glad I watched it at home because I definitely cried my eyes out,” lake resident Katie Schaetzle said Tuesday of the documentary.

It’s called, We Will Be Back: The Lake Delhi Story, and it was created by a Dubuque husband and wife, Charlie and Mary Cunliffe, it shows just how the breach affected the way of life for those on the lake.

“They know they’re not a Katrina. They know they’re not a Parkersburg,” Charlie said. “You know, a boat, a dock, it means nothing. Everybody experiences that. But the way of life that they share with generations, the stories of grandpa’s fishing with grandsons…are what really attracted us.”

The Cunliffes interviewed some 60 people and gathered video of the lake before and after the devastation.

Rebuilding the dam will cost an estimated $14.8 million, with additional items such as lake bed repairs and public access bringing the total up to $23 million.

Lake area leaders have secured nearly $16 million dollars so far, they are now waiting on government permits before moving forward.

Check the documentary website for information on viewings.

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