Elkport, Iowa, was once a thriving community steeped in history. However, a catastrophic flood in 2004 forever altered its landscape, leaving behind haunting remnants of its past. This is the story of resilience, loss, and the enduring beauty found amidst the ruins of a once-vibrant town.

Who lived in Elkport?

Wikipedia claims:  As of the 2000 census, Elkport, Iowa, housed 88 residents within 33 households and 25 families. The population density was approximately 470.2 people per square mile (181.5/km²), with 34 housing units averaging 181.7 units per square mile (70.2/km²).

Among the 33 households, 45.5% included children under 18, and 60.6% were married couples living together. Approximately 24.2% of households were non-family, with 12.1% consisting of individuals aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.67, and the average family size was 3.04.

Age distribution in Elkport showed 31.8% under 18, 2.3% aged 18-24, 28.4% aged 25-44, 23.9% aged 45-64, and 13.6% aged 65 or older, with a median age of 35. For every 100 females, there were 114.6 males; for those 18 and older, the ratio was 114.3 males per 100 females.

The median household income was $24,375, and the median family income was $28,125. Median incomes for males and females were $23,750 and $17,500, respectively, with a per capita income of $11,518. About 10.5% of families and 6.9% of the population lived below the poverty line, including 23.1% of those aged 64 and older.

What happened to Elkport?

In 2004, Elkport, Iowa, a town steeped in history along the banks of Elk Creek near the Turkey River, faced a devastating trial. The convergence of the Turkey and Volga Rivers upstream caused unprecedented flooding, breaching the town's south-end levee on May 23. Within hours, Elkport's modest community of 88 residents found themselves submerged in over 8 feet of water, marking the first breach in half a century. 

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In the aftermath, the town, established in 1855, bore witness to profound destruction. Homes, schools, banks, and other vital structures were left unrecognizably damaged, barely salvageable amidst the receding floodwaters. The resilience of Elkport's residents shone through in the face of such loss, as they salvaged what they could—faded photographs and indelible memories of a once-thriving community. 

By 2006, Elkport made the difficult decision to relocate its citizens, the remnants of its ghostly streets serving as a poignant reminder of the town's vibrant past. Despite the tragedy, there remains a haunting beauty in Elkport's abandoned landscapes, where echoes of its history endure amid the quiet persistence of nature reclaiming its place. 

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