Melt is on and rain on the way; Gov. Dayton talks flood preps

6:27 PM, Mar 15, 2011   |    comments
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  • Melt is on and rain on the way; Gov. Dayton talks flood preps
  • Melt is on and rain on the way; Gov. Dayton talks flood preps
  • Melt is on and rain on the way; Gov. Dayton talks flood preps
    
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  • ST CLAIR, Minn. -- The LeSueur River looks idyllic as it winds its way around St. Clair in the third week in March.

    No one in town is fooled; a good portion of the town was underwater last fall after heavy rains.

    "It's something you do every year, you just keep an eye on it," Greg Fitzloff said. Fitz owns a good deal of riverfront property.

    Fifteen miles north in Mankato, Governor Dayton arrived at the National Guard Armory, armed with public safety and emergency management officials.

    "Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst," was one of his opening lines.

    Dayton spent time in Mankato and Winona to talk about what many consider a potentially record breaking flood season this spring. He says the state and its communities are already deep in the conversation; and that's a good thing.

    "It something that hasn't happened in the past I'm told. I think it's important for people to understand that we are looking ahead, we're not just waiting for something. We're preparing as much as we possibly can."

    "The Minnesota National Guard is prepared," Adjutant General Rick Nash said. Nash says there are more than 12,000 soldiers trained and ready for the floods to hit.

    "As for the flood outlook, look out!" National Weather Service Todd Krause said. Krause says the melt is underway this week and rain is on the way next week. Throw in a dense snow pack and you've got a recipe for some serious water overflows in every river and creek. "The soil is pretty much saturated and that is one of the results of that massive rain fall in September," Krause warned.

    That was the massive rain the woke up the LeSueur River last fall and caused widespread flooding in St. Clair; flooding that wiped out the waste water treatment plant in the town of 800.

    Looking at last year's watermark in his backyard, Fitzloff remained hopeful.

    "Who knows. I guess we'll wait and see."

     

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