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Des Moines Flooded Again; Water Plant Is Threatened

August 30, 1993| From Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa — Renewed flooding caused by as much as 10 inches of rain forced hundreds of people to evacuate Sunday as crews rushed to protect the city's water treatment plant for the second time this summer.

"Now we can talk about the two floods of 1993. It's going to be a mess," said Tom Tucker, owner of an interior design business in West Des Moines that was flooded twice.

The rain sent creeks and rivers out of their banks throughout central Iowa. More rain was forecast and flood warnings were issued for the region.

With the ground already saturated from record rainfall all summer, water from the latest storm quickly drained into streams and creeks, which then overflowed.

Des Moines officials closed streets throughout the western part of the city as sewers backed up and smaller creeks flooded. West Des Moines Mayor Dino Rodish said about 600 houses were included in the evacuated area, 200 in West Des Moines and 400 in Des Moines.

The American Red Cross opened two shelters at churches for evacuees, and hundreds of volunteers spent the day filling sandbags. Officials in Des Moines and West Des Moines called for volunteers to place sandbags along the Raccoon River and Walnut Creek, both well above flood stage.

Last month, the Raccoon River flooded the Des Moines water treatment plant, cutting off drinking water for 250,000 people for several days. Crews worked Sunday to seal the plant's dike.

"We're not anticipating any major problems," plant manager L.D. McMullen said.

Weather service officials said Sunday's deluge made this the city's wettest summer on record. As of early Sunday, rainfall for June through August totaled 29.06 inches, breaking the 1881 record of 26.54 inches.

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