BARTLETT, Iowa (KETV) —Parts of Bartlett, Iowa, are accessible, but some residents are still only able to reach their home by boat.
“We had less than 5 minutes to actually get the TV, get loaded up. The water was across the road when we drove out of here,” Leland Achenbach said.
Two months later, it takes a boat ride through a cornfield to get to Achenbach’s home.
“When the flood came, it was [up] to the gutters on my house, is how deep the water was,” Achenbach added.
Still, feet of water surround the home. His wagon sits in a tree. A tank from somewhere upstream sits in the yard.
“Luckily my family, all my family and everything is safe. But 32 years of what we worked for is gone,” Achenbach said.
Now toys sit submerged in floodwater behind the house.
Seven years ago, Leland and his wife, Kim, lived in Thurman, Iowa. Their home there was destroyed by a tornado.
“This is two times for us in eight years. So, what do you do?” Achenbach asked.
Their next step is to buy a new home, but the money is not coming from FEMA assistance.
The current release of water at Gavin’s Point Dam is above average. The Army Corps of Engineers says it will likely stay that way for months, possibly lasting into November.
Achenbach fears that will keep water levels high near his home.
“The way it is right now, the corps [is] going to turn more water loose. We have a breach in the levee up here [and] that water is coming into Bartlett. It’s going to stay here, it has no way to get out,” Achenbach said.
Now, all they can do is hope that they can actually get home before November.