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Rising river creates high stakes for Clayton County

MILLVILLE, Iowa (KWWL) – The rising Turkey River has made its way to the small town of Millville, bringing destruction from ice jams and flooding.

The built up ice jams caused flooding throughout the area according to a worker with the Iowa DOT. The ice jams pushed on a railroad bridge owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad that eventually gave way.

David Cutler caught the aftermath of the bridge giving way. He said there was a train waiting to cross on the other side.

Cutler referred to a restaurant called Bootleggers in Millville who dealt with a lot of the flooding. Store owners and workers took precautions against the incoming Turkey River by gathering sand bags for two days, but the water was just too much.


“We thought we won, I went home around 11:30 they closed the bridge around noon yesterday,” said James Pfaffly, owner of Bootleggers. “We thought we won, but then it was coming up through the floor, just ground water coming right up through the floor.”

Since Bootleggers thought they won the battle, they hauled in a food order Thursday. They came in Friday morning and found the ice chests bobbing in the water. The Pfaffly family bought Bootleggers in June, meaning they have owned the location for less than a year.

Pfaffly got a call from his daughter about the damage.

“Devastated, devastated, their was a tear in her voice. It was devastating because we really trunk everything we have into this so we really can’t afford to lose it, but we do have flood insurance,” says Pfaffly.

Vinny Lowerre

Producer & Multimedia Journalist

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