Floods drive thousands from their homes, $736 million in property damage around Des Moines, Iowa as Levee fails

DES MOINES, Iowa: As soon as she heard the knocks at 4:30 a.m., Milissa Serck knew who it was. And what it meant.

“Boom. Boom. Boom,” Serck said, leaning back on a shelter cot. “That’s the police. No one else knocks like that. No one else knocks at that time.

“I knew we had to get out.”

Water was rushing down the street when Serck, her son and daughter fled their home in Des Moines’ Birdland neighborhood, where the Des Moines River poured in after a levee breach early Saturday.

Several Iowa cities and towns suffered in historic flooding, though by far the worst was in Cedar Rapids, where an estimated 1,300 blocks — 9.2 square miles — were underwater. Some 24,000 people were forced from their homes and early estimates put property damage at $736 million. Read more here.