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Still flooded

Ice, water remain in Breen Addition

February 24, 2011
By BILL SHEA Messenger staff writer

Frigid water and chunks of ice continued to surround some homes in a rural Webster County subdivision Wednesday, four days after shifting ice caused the Des Moines River to overflow its banks and surge into homes and lawns along 160th Street.

''It's never gotten in our house,'' Mindy Read said Wednesday afternoon after she and her sister, Dawn Gailey, used a canoe to ferry some belongings out of her flooded home at 2199 160th St.

Mindy and Doug Read and their children have lived there in the Breen Addition for six years without experiencing the severe water problems encountered this week.

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''It's an awesome house 11 months out of the year,'' Read said.

She and her family are renting a place to live right now. She said they haven't decided what to do about their house.

Houses on either side of the Read home remain encircled by moats of ice and water. Occasionally, the cracking sound produced by shifting ice can be heard. A nearly 4-foot long iceberg rested on the edge of the road.

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Mindy Read, right, with some help from her sister, Dawn Gailey, removes a few possessions including her children’s baby books, from her home at 2199 160th St. in the Breen Addition using a canoe and borrowed hip waders.

The south end of 160th Street remained impassable Wednesday afternoon thanks to ice and flowing water.

Elsewhere, a section of 170th Street between the Des Moines River and U.S. Highway 169 was closed because of water covering the pavement.

But homes along Riverdale and Scenic drives, both of which are close to the river northwest of Fort Dodge, appear to remain dry.

''I feel the Breen, Riverdale and Scenic Drive additions will flood when the ice jam breaks loose, which could happen anytime this week,'' said Tony Jorgensen, the Webster County emergency management coordinator. ''The residents have been warned about the impending flood.''

Ice jams and almost an inch of rain Saturday night caused the Des Moines River to spill over its banks early Sunday morning. At about 1 a.m. Sunday, Webster County sheriff's deputies began knocking on doors along 160th Street, warning residents of the danger and urging them to evacuate.

Jorgensen has said that opening the gates on the Hydroelectric Dam in Fort Dodge won't provide any relief.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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