Olin man's property floods for 4th time this year

View Map

OLIN, Iowa (KCRG) -- For those that live near rivers, flooding can be a seasonal occurrence. But, out in Olin, there's a man whose property has had water multiple times this year alone.

John "Mike" Dlask stands near his home at 309 East Locust Street in Olin, where water was slowly creeping closer for the fourth time in 2018. (Forrest Saunders/KCRG)

As the nearby Wapsipinicon River leaves its banks, John Dlask, who goes by "Mike," is prepping his property for flooding. It's something he's done a lot of in his eight years out on East Locust Street.

"This berm turns into an island, basically," Dlask said pointing to the land on which his home rests. "A friend of mine dubbed it 'Mikey's Island.'"

Inside one of "Mikey's" three outbuildings, he's moved what he can to higher ground. Power tools, televisions, one of his refrigerators now sits atop cinder blocks, just in case.

What's stunning— Thursday marked the fourth-time Dlask had done flood prep this year.

"Four times in five weeks," Dlask said. "It's been weird. And we've lost stuff in the past floods. Always going to lose something."

In Dlask's first two floods at his property, it was the furnace that was lost, seeing as his basement almost always gets wet during high water.

Dlask has learned from the past, however. Instead of coughing up thousands for replacement furnaces, he's installed a heating unit that can be unbolted and taken upstairs for a lot less money.

"100 bucks," Dlask said. "It comes up and goes back down. There's no price tag on peace of mind."

Another permanent change, his fuse box. Dlask has had it rewired to the first floor, keeping electrical lines out of potential waterways.

If you find yourself asking why the Olin man, his wife, and their dogs continue to put themselves in the path of the Wapsi, and not just move away, it's a two-point answer.

One— Dlask is 64, unsure if he'd be able to secure a new 30-year mortgage. And two— his place is "home."

"We love it here," Dlask said. "It's quiet. We've learned to adapt."

You have to adapt when you live on "Mikey's Island."