Family Loses Home In Explosion After Flash Floods in Des Moines

Jul 9, 2018

Torrential rain caused widespread chaos across the Des Moines area last Saturday. Des Moines got hit the hardest, but there was also severe flood damage in Ankeny, Saylorville, Urbandale, Maxwell, Johnston, and Windsor Heights when nearly 9 inches of rain fell over a three-hour period.

The Des Moines Register reports that more than 1500 hundred properties were affected, and authorities expect that number to increase with time. 

Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie said Friday that another 500 inspection requests still needed to be finished, and he predicted tough times ahead for some homeowners if the federal government did not “see this as a national-level disaster.”

During this hour of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks about flood impact, and how clean up is going across the Des Moines area.  To start this conversation, we hear a first-hand account from Christina Rhoades, an Urbandale resident whose home exploded after a gas line was hit during last weekend's flash floods. Everyone in the home made it out, but now she and her family are picking up the pieces. 

We also hear from Polk County Emergency Management Director AJ Mumm about the flood clean up.

Then in the second half of the show, Mark Wyatt of the Iowa Bicycle Coaltion talks about bike safety on summer roadways, and Tony Dehner, Iowa Public Radio Studio One Host, previews the 80/35 music festival.