Governor Dayton has declared a state of emergency in 35 Minnesota counties because of the recent storms and flooding. He’s also directed the Minnesota National Guard to send 100 soldiers to help in the fight against flooding on the Rainy River and Rainy Lake in the International Falls area. The state-of-emergency declaration makes a wide range of state resources available to affected communities and gets state agencies more involved in the response. The Department of Public Safety has now fully activated its State Emergency Operations Center, and they’re ramping up efforts to help communities across the state that are dealing with storm damage and high water. Local area counties in the State of Emergency include; Blue Earth, Brown, Le Sueur, McLeod, Nicollet, Redwood, Renville, Scott, Sibley and Waseca.
Governor Dayton surveyed the flood damage in Mankato Thursday afternoon following a morning stop in Owatonna. Today (FRI) the governor is visiting flood-affected communities in Rock and Pipestone counties along with Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Congressman Tim Walz.
Many roads around the region remain closed today (FRI) as the cleanup from this week’s heavy rain and flooding continues. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports that Highways 19 and 93 near Henderson remain closed, as well as Highway 19 near Gaylord. Highway 22 between St. Peter and Mankato was closed due to flooding also, and Highway 212 near Glencoe and Highway 15 south of Brownton had restrictions due to high water. Numerous smaller roads in counties around the area have been affected by the flooding as well. To get updated road closure information click HERE or contact your local officials.
The City of Norwood Young America has declared a state of emergency due to the flooding this week. The Norwood Young America sewer treatment plant is currently out of operation, and city officials are asking residents to severely limit their water usage to only what’s essential. The city water is reportedly safe to drink in Norwood Young America, but residents should limit the amount of water being used, including for the flushing of toilets, washing clothes and dishes, and taking baths or showers. The City of New Ulm asked residents to limit their water use for 24 hours on Thursday afternoon to avoid overwhelming the sewer system as well. Numerous other communities around the area are dealing with the flooding also, with sandbagging taking place in many locations while rivers and streams continue to rise.
The central portion of the state — from the Twin Cities, down to Mankato, and over to Marshall — remains under a flood warning, after several days of heavy rainfall saturated the ground and swelled rivers and streams. In southern Minnesota the Minnesota, Crow, Cottonwood, and Redwood Rivers, as well as many streams and tributaries, have all topped their banks. The State Patrol is reminding everyone in flooded areas that it’s never safe to drive your vehicle through flooded areas or standing water. Officials say most flood related deaths occur in automobiles, and they’re telling drivers it’s not safe to cross bridges, dips, or other low spots if the water is covering the roadway. It only takes a few inches of fast-moving water to carry a car away.
The heavy rain and flooding this week has caused the cancellation of the City of Glencoe’s annual summer festival this weekend. Glencoe Days has been canceled due to inclement weather and logistical and safety issues related to flooding. The announcement was made Thursday following a meeting of the Glencoe Days Committee and city officials, as well as the Glencoe Area Chamber of Commerce and the Glencoe Police Department. All Glencoe Days activities for today (FRI) and Saturday are canceled.