Larry Cotlar swept away in floodwater, dies at age 66

DES MOINES, Iowa -- 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 athletic director Brian Hardin expressed his admiration for Cotlar as a broadcaster and a person.

"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 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 morning.