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June 23, 2014 05:26 PM

Rock Rapids Homeowners Clean Up After Devastating Flood

Rock Rapids, IA

In northwest Iowa, people are cleaning out their flood-damaged basements.  Others have left their homes entirely, and everyone is trying to recover from last week’s floods.

Even though the water is gone from Rock Rapids, the destruction is still here. Driving through the town, there are many homes with collapsed basement walls and homeowners are still working to clean up.

Jim Trei is one of those homeowners.

"It's not just heartbreaking, it's heart-wrenching," Trei said.

He built the house 20 years ago and was in his basement when the water started rushing in on Monday night.

"I ran to my steps, which, probably 20 feet, and as I ran, the water was getting so high quickly, almost waist deep,” Trei said.

Nearly nine feet of water filled his basement and seeped into the first two inches of the first floor. Floodwater surrounded his home and even carried away his gazebo.

Trei describes the overall feeling in the community with one word.

"Devastating. You don't know where to go, where to turn. But it's fortunate we have people that, that help and volunteer,” Trei said.

Although he isn't sure what his next step will be, he does know he never wants to experience a flood like this ever again.

"I think I have to look for an alternative. Either move the house out, sell the property, or something. I don't know,” Trei said.

A feeling of uncertainty that many residents in Rock Rapids are surely feeling.

Since he's lived in the home, Trei says he's never experienced anything quite like this. Some good news, he was able to save his three dogs before getting out of the house.

View photos from last week's storms

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