Flood damage estimates rise in Waseca

Published 9:48 am Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WASECA — Estimates of flood damage are rising in Waseca.

Waseca County’s emergency management director, Nancy Lageson, tells The Free Press of Mankato that the county’s assessment has doubled since last week’s heavy rain, with at least 75 percent of the homes in the area damaged by flooding.

A line nearly 200 yards long of trucks and cars filled with wet carpets, furniture and waterlogged TVs and appliances was lined up Monday at the city’s debris dump site.

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John McGuire was hauling a trailer with carpet and furniture and was making his fifth trip to the dump, with more to come. He said his family had 10 inches of water in their basement.

Officials wait to reopen flooded roads

WASECA — Hundreds of residents in flood-ravaged Waseca and St. Clair are dealing with property damage while state transportation officials waited for the water to recede to begin inspecting inundated roads and bridges.

The Mankato Free Press reported that the Minnesota Department of Transportation was able to reopen the last closed section of Highway 14 near Janesville on Sunday morning.

Transportation department district maintenance engineer Jed Falgren said Highway 83 just north of St. Clair remained closed at a bridge over the Le Sueur River, and a nearly half-mile stretch of Highway 30 east of Mapleton remained at least partly under water Sunday.

According to Felgren the department hoped to open both of those roads sometime Monday, only if the water level dropped and bridges could be inspected for problems under daylight.

“It might slow its retreat,” Falgren said of the relatively light rains effect on the Le Sueur River. “But it shouldn’t bring it up much.”

Nine other sections of state highway in the area were reopened to traffic earlier after also being impacted by the storm.

St. Clair held an emergency City Council meeting Sunday morning, in which they officially declared a disaster and began planning for clean-up.

Residents have been asked to not flush toilets, take showers or put any water down the drain. Instead they used basins for brushing teeth and washing before tossing the water on to their lawns.