As floodwaters recede, damage to roads and treatment plants revealed


Water levels are falling across Minnesota after June's record rains. And while that's allowing travel to return to normal in many places, it's also revealing the extent of the damage caused by the floods.

KIMT reports that on U.S. Highway 65 ��� which is Main St. in Albert Lea – the pavement has reappeared after nearly two weeks under water.

That's good for motorists ... and for those trying to get a reading on the size of the repair job that lies ahead.

Freeborn County Emergency Management Director Rich Hall tells the station “We’re finding additional culverts that have been washed out, we’re looking at some other damage and infrastructure in the city of Albert Lea itself, so we’re still in the discovery phase.”

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency will start surveying the flood damage in Minnesota Tuesday, in a process that may take a couple of weeks.

The Pioneer Press reports crews will start their work in the southwestern part of the state by visiting Rock, Nobles, and Jackson Counties Tuesday. A Ramsey County official tells the newspaper $7.3 million worth of damage to public infrastructure is the threshold for the state to be eligible for federal disaster assistance. Once the state qualifies, each affected county can apply for aid individually.

The state seems certain to surpass the $7.3 million dollar mark in damage. Carver County's emergency manager tells MPR News repairs to roads and treatment plants in that county alone are likely to run about $9 million.

MPR reported over the weekend on the vast amount of sediment – 30 times the proposed pollution limit – that have run off fields into the Minnesota River valley during the floods.

The high water has also put a damper on the use of Minnesota's state parks during their busiest time of year.

Looking for a silver lining? WCCO found one for anglers who like to fish Lake Minnetonka. The no wake restrictions that have accompanied the record-high water level mean fishing boats rule the water for the time being, with no water skiers or recreational boaters to contend with.

Dustin Hafner, who owns a tackle shop on the lake, tells the station “It’s the chance of a lifetime, right now. It’s phenomenal fishing.”

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