The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 18, 2014

Sibley County still in cleanup mode

Millions of dollars in damage caused by June floods

All seven cities and 17 townships in Sibley County experienced flood damage during the two big mid-June storms that swept through the area.

Several county departments, including public works and environmental services, also reported damage to public property.

All told, the overall cost of the June storms in Sibley County came to about $4.7 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency eligible public assistance funds, and $2.8 million in eligible federal highway funds, according to Bryan Gorman, emergency management director at Sibley County. (The amount of funding the county will receive has yet to be determined.)

The $4.7 million figure does not include damage to private property, the cost of which is difficult to calculate. Although Gorman estimates one-third of homes in Sibley County were affected.

“Some of the homeowners I've talked to said they've lived in their homes 35 years and never had water until this (storm),” said Gorman, who added that the county is still working on cleanup several weeks later. “Some of the stuff could take years to really fix everything.”

Signs of the flooding are all around the county. The water lines from where creeks, rivers and lakes throughout the county flooded are still visible, as is the damage caused as the water rose.

The city of Henderson received a lot of media attention in the aftermath of the June flooding, with the numerous road closures and extra long detours, among other issues. Arlington was much less in the spotlight, despite being hit quite hard by the storms.

“We had a pretty crazy week,” said Arlington City Administrator Liza Donabauer.

During the June 14 storm, high winds caused downed tree limbs and branches all around town, as well as minor power line damage. To make matters worse, both of the two-person maintenance crew in the city were gone at the time, she said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News