Last Thursday, Dean Doty caught a last minute flight from Phoenix to Omaha to try to save his home. The following morning Doty and his wife attempted to to beat the raging waters of the flooded Missouri River as they rushed to their hometown of Bartlett Iowa. The levels were rising so quickly, they were only able to retrieve a few items before the town succumbed. Doty and his wife fled the town safely, but he believes his house was completely submerged and is a total loss.
Dean Doty stands on the impassable road to Bartlett Iowa. Doty's home can be seen several miles to the west.
Doty urged his wife to grab items she wanted from the house before they were forced to evacuate. She retrieved bedding and a few boxes of family keepsakes. Everything else in the home is believed to be destroyed.
Dean Doty’s nephew, Tyler Doty of Glenwood, Iowa and Tyler’s cousin, John Bedford of Council Bluffs, Iowa help retrieve Dean Doty’s paddleboat from a flooded cornfield.
Doty did not attempt to reach his home in Bartlett. He hoped to return the following day.
Doty said this flood is much worse than the devastating flood of 2011 when his home sustained significant damage. After the town was evacuated in 2011, Doty said he was one of the first to return. He said he is going back this year as soon possible because looters attempted to rob the town after the last flood.
A horse was an apparent victim to the flood. While there were no human casualties in the Bartlett flood, the estimated agricultural loss in Iowa and Nebraska is expected to be over a billion dollars.
Doty believes the flooding was caused from too much water being released from Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota.
Dean Doty and his nephew, Tyler Doty load the rescued paddleboat on to Dean Doty’s pickup truck. Doty and his wife are planning on buying a travel trailer and setting it up as soon as possible on their land. He feels fortunate to have flood insurance. However, despite his persistent urging to friends and neighbors, he said most do not have flood insurance.
Feed corn rests on the center line of the road to Bartlett, Iowa. As of 2018, Bartlett had a population of 49. That number is likely to diminish. Dean Doty says he plans on moving with his wife to Cave Creek, Arizona to assist with his son’s landscaping business.
Dean Doty takes a break for a cigarette. Doty was eager to share his story. He said, “people need to know what’s going on.”