Flooded Gravesite

Flooded Grave

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MASON CITY, IA-While that weather pattern is welcome for those looking for a break in the drought, it’s causing an upsetting situation for a former North Iowa woman.

Her father was buried in February, but when a family friend went to visit the gravesite earlier this week, he got a surprise.
He found quite a messy situation at the memorial park cemetery in mason city.
And tells us the grave of the father of his friend is filled with water.
But the owner tells us flooding isn’t much of an issue.

Tim Detrick has a big job to do for his family friend.
He is in charge of checking in on the gravesite of her father, who was buried in February.
But what Tim saw during his most recent trip to memorial park cemetery was unexpected

“In denial, because the headstone was gone, I kept looking around for George’s grave,” said  Detrick.

He took these photos..showing the gravesite covered with water, and sent them to his friend, Gloria.

“I just want my father to be at peace and it’s just really a disturbing thing,” said Gloria Mendenhall.

She’s concerned about water getting into the vault and is wondering if flooding is something that happens a lot at the cemetery.

If this happens every year, why do they continue to sell lots in that area of the cemetery with out doing some re-configurations.”

Cemetery owner David Moore says this is a normal situation for springtime in Iowa, and adds, this particular grave was properly covered with dirt when the vault was placed in the ground.

“This is a natural occurrence in nature. It’s the same reason you don’t see farmers out planting corn this time of year, it simply would not grow,” said Moore.

He did say they had to thaw out the ground when Gloria’s father George was buried, which Moore said is the reason why the soil looks different from what you might expect.

The problem with doing that is your basically depleting the soil of it’s nutrients so when the grave is filled in, it’s filled with clay which compacts more firmly around the burial vault and allows the ground to become more stable, more quickly.”

He says once the rain stops they will get back to making everything look normal again.

We make every effort to protect the ground, we’re doing everything we can , just waiting for mother nature to cooperate.”

But to those close to George, this ordeal is more about having respect for sacred ground.

“It’s just a body there but it’s still the remains I know the spirits gone but it’s a loved one and it should be protected,” said Detrick.

The family and close friends of George are also concerned about the fact that his headstone is missing.
David Moore said it’s a common practice for staff to remove those during the winter in particular areas in the cemetery.

He says it’s a spacing issue and they will be put back, along with a fresh coat of top soil, once the weather clears.
Moore also tells us, they’ve been taking care of the cemetery the same way since 1922.

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