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Mankato Area Hit By Major Flooding

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(credit: CBS) Kim Johnson
Kim Johnson joined the WCCO-TV team in May 2014 as Saturday morni...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – People in southern Minnesota were drying out Wednesday after a heavy rain flooded parts of Mankato and nearby towns.

The rain triggered a mudslide that closed Highway 66.

The National Weather Service has extended a flood warning for the area as more rain is expected overnight into Thursday.
Homeowners spent the day pumping water out of their basements.

“I woke up about 2:30,” said Megan Hendrycks, whose basement flooded. “The water in the drain in the basement all of a sudden just came flooding out and there was water up to my knees.”

Hendrycks had to rip out all her carpet and toss her furniture to the curb.

“It kind of sucks,” she said. “I don’t have my whole bedroom and everything is wrecked.”

About 7 inches of rain in under two hours overwhelmed the city’s sewer system. The water had nowhere to go but into people’s basements and it also flooded downtown roads.

While kids splashed in flooded fields, farmers worried for their livelihoods.

Wayne Gobbel, a farmer south of Mankato, says the corn he planted can only survive two days under water. It’s unlikely his fields will dry out.

“It’s a very big impact,” Gobbel said. “We’re losing bushels so that’s what counts. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The area is bracing for 1-2 inches of more rain overnight. The city has crews monitoring the storm system.

“We are concerned, the ponds have not completely caught up with getting back to a normal level,” said Mary Fralish, the Public Works director. “Any rainfall we get, if it’s significant, could put us back into a flooding situation.”

As residents dry out their belongings, all they can do is hope for a quieter night.

“We’re going to try to prepare as much as we can, but I don’t know what we can really do anymore just hope for the best I guess,” Hendrycks said.

Some of the loss won’t be re-cooperated. One homeowner said he didn’t get a flood insurance policy because he doesn’t live near a river.

For farmers, there’s still time to replant the beans, but it’s too late in the season for corn. That’s where crop insurance will make a difference for those who have it.

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