Open Water and Pool Drowning’s are Preventable

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Steve Lombardi, Attorney

KCCI reported about a two-year-old child in Council Bluffs who drowned towards the end of June, 2010. When a child predeceases the parents it causes the parents a lifetime of suffering. Having grown up around the water off Bristol Harbor in Bristol, Rhode Island I can say from experience that being comfortable around the water is an important part of child safety training. Everyone needs to teach their children how to swim. Even if you can't that doesn't mean your children shouldn't know how to swim. Today let's see what types of water accidents Iowan's are experiencing.

Bristol Harbor

In another KCCI News story a 15-year-old boy drowned in 20 feet of water while swimming in a quarry with several friends from Weeping Water, Nebraska. Another young man, apparently trying to rescue him had to be treated at a local hospital for exhaustion and ingestion of water. There was no indication if alcohol was involved or if he struck his head while diving.

A lawsuit was filed against the City of Des Moines over the drowning death of Alan Neely on June 30, 2009. Neely's boat went over a Des Moines River dam and without the cable to hang on to he was pulled under the turbulent water, his life jacket ripped off and he drowned. Mr. Neely was 62 years old. Allegations in the Petition indicated the City of Des Moines failed to properly maintain the life-saving cable.

A body was discovered floating in Storm Lake in Buena Vista County. Very little is reported on the incident. The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office is investigating along with the State Medical Examiner's Office.

According to Senator Harkin, federal financial aid for the Delhi Dam reconstruction is unlikely. The Delhi Lake Dam is privately owned. This is a lesson in you can't have your cake and eat it too. It's nice to have the right to exclude the public from using your lake, but when something really bad happens you can't ask the public to cough up the dough to fix it.

Meanwhile others claim the Lake Delhi dam will be rebuilt and will produce electricity to help pay for the costs of repair. Well maybe and maybe not. I think you'd better get estimates before you go promising the moon. I can't even imagine the drop in property values. Every resident around the lake should file a property tax protest with the county based on an expected drop in property values while the decision is made and the repairs are completed. While the decision is being made you might as well not be paying unrealistically inflated property taxes based on erroneous assessments.  

The Corp of Engineers were asked to increase the outflow out of Saylorville Lake but said no way Jose. The Corps concern has to do with bank erosion due to the speed of how quickly the water level is lowered. City of Des Moines officials are concerned about the level of water in Saylorville Lake and what would happen to Des Moines' capital structures if the dam broke allowing water to flood Des Moines. It's simply a difference of opinion with no clear or easy answer.

Flash floods in Des Moines on August 4th caused big problems for some central Iowans. A storm sewer collapsed in the 5300 block of Merle Hay Road allowing a sink hole to develop. We had power outages and disruption of area businesses.

You can tell we are near the beginning of the Iowa State Fair. Ankeny's Prairie Ridge pool will close this Wednesday.

West Des Moines Valley Aquatic Center will host something called a Doggie Dip. I'll have to see if Oreo and Molly want to go.

The old-time photo in the August 6, 2010 Register was of Rowing Mrs. Kankey. It shows rescuers assisting Pearl Kankey, 73 out of her flooded home in Red Oak, Iowa. She looks really cranky and young Billy Brown needs to learn how to sit up straight.

That's all there is to report on water safety and accidents news in Iowa.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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