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June 17, 2014 06:30 PM

People In Rock Rapids Cope With Flood Damage

Rock Rapids, IA

People who live near the Rock River in Rock Rapids scrambled to save their homes but couldn't keep up with the rising water and rushing current.

"I feel helpless because I can't do 'nothing," Rock Rapids resident Kevin Vande Hoef said.

The Rock River broke through this sandbag barrier early Tuesday morning, flooding his street and filling his yard with water.

"It's heartbreaking. I have never ever thought I see anything like this, not in my lifetime," Vande Hoef said.

When the water rose, it forced Laura Schleusner and her neighbors to give up their fight.

"We have bagged and ran sump pumps all night last night and we couldn't get ahead of it and finally the police came and told us we had to get out that we had to evacuate," Schleusner said.

Crews continue to try to stop the water, but at this point there isn't much they can do.

"The water is just too high now and it's coming around and going over the sandbags," Schleusner said.

There's so much water in Schluesner's yard, you can barely see her deck.  Inside her home, her basement holds several feet of water. And she's worried it's going to get worse.

"I have a big trailer coming and I am trying to get people to help me move furniture out of the house off the main level. We have things out of the basement but if that fills up and it comes up as high as they are saying, we need to clean out our main level," Schleusner said.

It's something many in Rock Rapids have never experienced before and hope to never experience again.

"It's never ever come to the house before. This is my first time going through it. I don't know what to expect, I don't know what to think. It's tiring; it's frustrating," Schleusner said.

"You work so hard on improving your house and improving your property value and you have something like this that comes right along and just washes it away," Vande Hoef said.

Rock Rapids has made a request for 15,000 sand bags and the city of Sioux Falls is currently working to help meet that need.

There are concerns that the Rock River will continue to rise.

See storm photos from across the area 

Keep updated with the latest on the forecast from the KELOLAND Live Doppler HD Storm Center

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