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Ankeny Residents Say Neighborhood is ‘Like a War Zone,’ Filled With Trash After Flooding

ANKENY, Iowa  --  "It's kind of like a war zone," said Mary Schroder, a resident of SW Westlawn Drive. On Monday, pianos, TVs, and various pieces of furniture lined the curbs on that street.

"Well, it's pretty bad," said Schroder. "We lost our water heater, washer, and a lot of memory things. We had about two feet of water in the basement."

Schroder has lived in this neighborhood for more than half a century.

"We've lived in this house 56 years and we've never had a problem like this," she said. "It's just sad, you know? It's pretty sad that people have lost so much."

Jeff Larmore is one of those people.

"This was difficult," said Larmore. "It seems like everything in the basement, everything that came up through the sewers, the toilet, and everything else, got everything wet. Pulling it out's been a lot. It's been a struggle here lately."

Agony can be heard in his voice as he describes everything he lost.

"Anything that contaminated, you know what I mean?" he said. "Carpets, brand new bed I had up here, too, that's gone. Dressers, darn near everything we owned."

As cleanup workers went street to street picking up the debris, it was clear this is just the beginning of a long process.

"This compares to double or triple what a city cleanup would be," said Lyle Vander of Meiden Midwest Sanitation in Pella, which is assisting Ankeny Sanitation with cleanup. "It's a daunting task, to say the least, and we'll be at it for quite a while. So everybody's busy. I mean, neighbors help neighbors even though they're busy. We come up here with equipment to help as best we can."