Floods nail southeastern MinnesotaRain and floods pummeled southeastern Minnesota in September.
Rain and floods pummeled southeastern Minnesota in September.
While the hardest hit communities were farther south, Zumbrota and Pine Island took it on the chin when the floods peaked Sept. 23.
On that day, the Zumbro River crested to 22.8 feet and parts of Highway 58 were closed. Nearby residents saw the river inch ever closer to their homes, while others in the community began sandbagging in the hopes of preventing damage.
In Pine Island the scene was more dire. City roads were shutdown that Thursday to all non-essential traffic as the city declared a state of emergency.
Police set up check points. Pine Island residents were allowed to travel home, but non-residents attempting to travel through he city were subject to arrest.
At the time, Goodhue County Sheriff Dean Albers said aid workers "could not deal with all the people coming into down," prompting the closure.
The next day Goodhue County deputies had to assist in rescuing Xcel Energy employees who were stranded while working on an electrical substation near Pine Island, Albers said. Deputies used an airboat to carry the workers to safety.
Later that day the Zumbro began to subside.
Then that Saturday, the Cannon River was within a foot of record levels in Welch, according to the National Weather Service.
The river crested at 14.37 feet and remained at the level into the day. Before the rain, the river had been just under 5 feet.
Pine Island City Administrator Abraham Algadi said more than 120 Pine Island homes suffered flood damage -- nearly 10 percent of homes in city limits. Of those, one was destroyed, seven suffered major damage, 25 suffered minor damage and the remainder were "affected slightly."
In Zumbrota, floodwaters damaged Covered Bridge Park and left debris throughout the city, according to City Administrator Neil Jensen. The city also will need to undergo costly repairs to its storm water system, which suffered substantial erosion damage.
Flood cleanup continued for several weeks.
State lawmakers would approve an $80 million appropriation during a brief special session in October. Most of that money went to southern Minnesota communities hit by the floods.