Blue Earth County’s Emergency Management Director is continuing to monitor for potential flooding across the area. Mike Maurer said there are two areas of increased concern.
“We have a couple of communities that tend to flood first. You have St. Clair and the Garden City area,” he explained.
After speaking with people in the city of St. Clair, and knowing that they were hit with major flooding from the Le Sueur River in 2010 and 2016, Maurer said it comes as no surprise that they’re worried because, “Any community that’s been flooded twice in the past ten years, the city officials get concerned and some of the residents that have had their area flooded down there, their homes flooded, are obviously a little nervous. They’re watching the river pretty closely. Some have already started to bag down there in preparation.”
However, Maurer said the flooding brought on by summer rains is typically more problematic than spring snowmelt because, “When we had 10 inches of rain over in that New Richland area when the river started to rise it was rising a foot an hour. Here we’re getting three inches to five inches a day.”
The fact that the melt quickly followed a record-breaking amount of February snow has created unique challenges, though. “A lot of people have been through it before,” he said, “What we ran into early on that people weren’t used to is these frozen culverts. People were getting water backed up to their homes because the water wasn’t going down the culverts and we just don’t usually have that.”
Maurer said unlike other weather situations, which in Minnesota generally come in suddenly and leave just as quickly, flooding can be a long process. He said, “If the weather stays good and everything goes well we may get through this pretty smoothly, as you can say, with this much snow. Now, if the weather changes and we get a bunch of rain things can change. We just have to keep monitoring and what we’re doing and be prepared.”
The current long-range forecast is calling for a 50 percent chance of morning showers on Sunday, and beginning a week from Friday a 40-50 percent chance of throughout the weekend and into the following week.
Blue Earth County is providing residents with sandbags. They can be picked up at the Blue Earth County Justice Center. People will have to provide their own sand.