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On this day in Iowa weather history...

1877: Widespread heavy rainfall across Iowa on the night of August 27-28 was followed on the night of the 28th-29th by equally heavy rainfall concentrated on portions of south central Iowa, more or less from around Des Moines to Knoxville where 4.90 inches of rain was measured in just a few hours. This local downpour, on the heels of the heavy rain just the night before, caused significant flash flooding across the area including along Little Four Mile Creek which reportedly swelled to 50 feet wide at some points. The flood waters washed out the stone arches under a railroad bridge near Altoona, and a few hours later a passenger train heading for Des Moines came on the bridge at full speed and plunged into the creek bed, the locomotive landing hard against the opposite bank. Five cars of the train also plummeted into the creek, including three passenger cars. It was reported that 20 people were killed and 35 injured, making it the worst railroad disaster in central Iowa history.

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