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June 17, 2014 05:00 PM

Rock Valley Fights Rising Water Levels

Rock Valley, IA

As the water level rises on the creek near Rock Valley, emergency crews, volunteers and residents are rushing to save what homes they can. From sandbags to sand walls, everyone's hoping it will keep the water back and the damage low.

With several homes already taking on water in Rock Valley, the race is on to protect as many others as possible.

"Trying to raise the dike so that we don't have the water going in and save the infrastructure of the city," Dave Van Holland said.

Sioux Center Fire Chief Dave Van Holland is directing volunteers and 200 pieces of equipment.  It's hard to stay ahead of the rising water and this difficult situation has led to tough decisions like having to abandon homes on the western side of the dike so they can save the homes on the other side.

"We had to make a choice; it wasn't easy," Van Holland said.

Jeremy Joffer lives in Rock Valley but his home is not in any danger, so he's been passing out water to volunteers fighting the creek.

"We'll get it. We'll get it. We're not going to quit. We'll get it," Joffer said.

As for the homes that have been abandoned, residents are still doing everything they can.  They're sandbagging window wells and clearing out basements to minimize the impact of the flood.

"We just can't keep up. It's coming up too fast. What do you do? It's part of life. You just pray to God and it's not life. It's personal property. It's not life," Heath Wallenburg said.

It's something everyone keeps reminding themselves as they wait for the water to crest.

As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials say they do not need any more help in Rock Valley.  They are also reminding people to remove water from basements slowly so that the walls do not collapse.

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