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A dam on an eastern Iowa lake suffered a “catastrophic” failure Saturday, sending a massive amount of water into nearby communities and forcing residents to flee, officials said.

The Lake Delhi dam, about 45 miles north of Cedar Rapids, failed as a result of “massive rain — a very unusually high amount this season,” according to Jim Flansburg, communications director for Gov. Chet Culver.

Culver told CNN that nearly 10 inches of rain had recently fallen in a 12-hour period in the area and was “too much water for the dam to hold.”

The roads on either side of the dam — which were part of the dam’s containment measures — apparently gave out as a result of the rainfall, Flansburg told CNN.

The National Weather Service reported a 30-foot-wide gap in the berm alongside the dam.

Video showed massive amounts of water violently gushing from the pool behind the dam into the river below. Nearby homes and buildings were under water up to their eaves.

Evacuation sirens sounded about 1 p.m. (2 p.m. ET) for the approximately 700 residents of Hopkinton, who had about five minutes to flee, Flansburg said.

No injuries were reported.

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Article courtesy cnn.com

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