East Dubuque flood victims blast city

Some say city should have given better notification of flood dangers

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A flood of anger is now filling East Dubuque, Ill. after last week's flash flooding.

Torrential rains touched off flooding that forced people in an area known as "the flats" to evacuate their homes in the middle of the night.

During Monday's East Dubuque city council meeting, dozens of frustrated flood victims blamed the city for making matters worse.

Now that the water has receded, both the literal and the figurative dust isn't settling well in East Dubuque.

"Nobody pounded on my door," Gary Lolwing said.

Some flood victims say they slept through the rain and didn't even know they were in danger.

"My wife and I didn't get taken out until 3 o'clock," Lolwing said. "We got woke up by a phone call from our son in Dubuque telling us we were being evacuated."

"I did not get woke up either," Ross Paul said. "I have a two year old and I had to carry my daughter and my girlfriend out."

Some argue the city should have sounded warning sirens, but city leaders disagreed.

"We were kind of concerned if we sounded the tornado siren, they everybody would head to the basement in a rush," Mayor George Young said.

East Dubuque leaders say they did the best they could in a unique situation. Normally, the city would ask for help from surrounding cities.

"Unfortunately, this event was a natural disaster that all those departments had to turn us down because they had issues in their own jurisdiction," Fire Chief Joe Heim said.

City leaders say they're already working on a new disaster plan, and hoping for a federal disaster declaration to help the dust settle a little gentler.

Volunteers have set up a flood victim distribution center at the old library in East Dubuque. They are collecting clothes, appliances, and money for the flood victims.

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