Longtime Iowa sportscaster killed as rain swamps Des Moines

Two men sit stranded in their cars, surrounded by flood water from Fourmile Creek on the bridge at the intersection of Hubbell Avenue and East 33rd Street on Des Moines' east side on Sunday morning, July 1, 2018 after heavy rain fell overnight. The creek crested at a record 17.47 feet around 6:00 a.m. (Kelsey Kremer/The Des Moines Register via AP)

A longtime Iowa sportscaster has died in flash flooding in Des Moines amid heavy rain that forced the evacuation of some homes and businesses in one suburb.

Posted: Jul 2, 2018 6:12 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A longtime Iowa sportscaster has died in flash flooding in Des Moines amid heavy rain that forced the evacuation of some homes and businesses in one suburb.

Police said 66-year-old Larry Cotlar died Saturday when he was swept away in floodwater after his van stalled on a flooded north Des Moines street. Cotlar had worked as the voice of Drake University's teams since 2005.

Drake athletics director Brian Hardin said he respected Cotlar's work and who he was.

"We all had the utmost respect — not just for Larry's talent, but for the kind of quality person and colleague he was. Larry was loyal, passionate and tireless," Hardin said.

Witnesses told police Cotlar was swept away as he got out of his stalled van. His body was found nearly four hours later, several blocks away.

The flooding was fueled by 3 to 8 inches (7.5 to 20 centimeters) of rain that fell across the Des Moines area Saturday night. Homes and businesses along Walnut Creek in the suburb of Clive had to be evacuated. Some streets remained blocked Sunday.

"The speed and how long that rain fell caught us by surprise," Des Moines police Sgt. Paul Parizek said.

In the suburb of Urbandale, residents of a duplex escaped shortly before an explosion from a ruptured gas line leveled their home after the basement flooded.

"It flushed me and my wife to the point we thought we were gone. We managed to get to the ceiling and get air," Shane Rhoades told The Des Moines Register. "My wife found a window over here and we swam out, got our three children out."

The area is getting some relief. The National Weather Service predicts that Thursday will be the next chance for rain. But rivers and reservoirs in the area are already full and may continue rising in the days ahead.

The Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the reservoir that protects Des Moines from Des Moines River flooding will crest next weekend at a level above the lip of the concrete emergency spillway. Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie said the city doesn't expect any uncontrolled flood releases from the reservoir.

___

This story has been corrected to show that the first name of the Drake athletics director is Brian, not Briand.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97638

Reported Deaths: 2067
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin27372932
Ramsey11088322
Dakota7635126
Anoka6238137
Stearns407724
Washington388355
Scott262533
Olmsted251928
Nobles197716
Blue Earth17266
Wright16957
St. Louis165941
Carver14377
Clay141741
Rice13438
Mower13425
Sherburne116914
Kandiyohi10552
Winona91318
Lyon7224
Waseca6898
Benton5603
Crow Wing55518
Steele5552
Freeborn5464
Nicollet54517
Watonwan5304
Chisago5131
Todd5042
McLeod5012
Le Sueur4744
Otter Tail4624
Beltrami4505
Martin43010
Goodhue3829
Itasca34715
Pine3430
Douglas3372
Polk3224
Isanti3151
Becker2812
Carlton2761
Morrison2682
Dodge2570
Pipestone23210
Cottonwood2280
Chippewa2231
Meeker2132
Wabasha2020
Sibley1993
Brown1962
Yellow Medicine1902
Cass1844
Redwood1773
Rock1760
Murray1722
Mille Lacs1693
Renville1578
Unassigned15452
Jackson1491
Faribault1470
Swift1441
Fillmore1330
Houston1280
Kanabec1278
Roseau1250
Koochiching1233
Pennington1201
Hubbard1171
Lincoln1160
Stevens1041
Pope990
Aitkin831
Big Stone830
Wadena720
Wilkin703
Lac qui Parle651
Grant634
Lake600
Norman540
Marshall531
Mahnomen491
Red Lake451
Traverse340
Clearwater280
Lake of the Woods231
Kittson120
Cook60

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 86860

Reported Deaths: 1315
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk16010262
Woodbury555467
Johnson517027
Black Hawk450990
Linn4101113
Story346217
Dubuque333241
Scott304528
Dallas280738
Pottawattamie215939
Buena Vista199912
Marshall179134
Sioux16803
Wapello134057
Webster128014
Plymouth116121
Clinton113021
Muscatine112155
Crawford11005
Cerro Gordo105921
Warren9666
Jasper86432
Des Moines8008
Marion7697
Henry7554
Tama73932
Carroll6855
Lee6437
Wright5961
Dickinson5306
Boone5178
Bremer5027
Washington47211
Louisa43115
Delaware4233
Mahaska41519
Floyd3543
Jackson3523
Franklin35118
Lyon3514
Winneshiek3406
Clay3344
Hamilton3323
Benton3281
Winnebago31713
Hardin3071
Poweshiek3078
Buchanan2861
Jones2843
Kossuth2800
Butler2752
Emmet27010
Clarke2683
Shelby2681
Allamakee2666
Chickasaw2661
Sac2650
Clayton2633
Cherokee2552
Cedar2521
Guthrie2527
Harrison2523
Fayette2312
Madison2272
Grundy2243
Iowa2161
Palo Alto2050
Hancock1952
Howard1927
Humboldt1913
Mitchell1910
Calhoun1873
Mills1831
Page1710
Cass1692
Osceola1690
Pocahontas1652
Monona1601
Monroe16011
Lucas1566
Appanoose1423
Jefferson1391
Union1383
Taylor1321
Davis1274
Ida1261
Fremont1210
Van Buren1151
Keokuk1141
Worth1090
Greene1030
Montgomery975
Audubon871
Wayne872
Adair721
Decatur670
Ringgold532
Adams330
Unassigned140
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
Mason City
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 52°
Albert Lea
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 48°
Austin
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Charles City
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 45°
Winds pick up for Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

${item.thumbnail.title}

Gov. Walz on national COVID response: 'I think that failure is pretty obvious'

Image

Voting based on your values and faith-based beliefs

Image

Governor Walz weighs in ahead of debate

Image

Sara's Evening Forecast - Tuesday

Image

Local protest over SCOTUS nominee

Image

Opioid crisis during pandemic

Image

Spots Mallet makes it on TV

Image

Domestic Violence Awareness Forum

Image

Pumpkin shortage

Image

Minnesota traffic fatalities

Community Events