Dam fails, lake disappears

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After heavy rains forced a dam break over the weekend, people in Delhi, Iowa, were coming to grips with the reality that their lake was gone. Lake Delhi, a popular getaway in Delaware County surrounded by waterfront vacation homes, had become a stream.

When the dam burst, so did a thriving tourism industry for the region, according to a report in The New York Times. The 450-acre lake was rimmed by 900 homes and vacation cabins.

The lake generated about 10 percent of the county's tax base, which last year totaled $24.9 million, according to a county assessor.

"There's no way I'll make it with no work and no water," said Chris Stender, whose home and marina on the lake were damaged.

Stender said about 100 boaters entered the lake from his marina each summer weekend. Now he is getting calls asking to have boats prepared for the winter.

"Maybe there'll be water next year," he said.

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