NOTE: Nina Moini also contributed to this report.
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Residents in Prior Lake have been dealing with flooding for weeks now. Neighbors have already used a record number of sandbags, but water levels are just not receding fast enough.
Homeowners have been wading through feet of water to get out of their streets for weeks. They’ve been sandbagging just as long, but finally this week the city council approved bringing in concrete barriers.
Crews can then finally pump water back into the lake from the street.
Prior Lake city leaders decided on this swift procedure after suspending an effort to fill about 10,000 sandbags. Jim Goodman said people in his neighborhood have held up well.
“It’s been a long spell, no doubt,” said Goodman. “We’ve had our ups and downs. And when we had the big rainstorm we had the really big downs, because we knew it would be that much longer until the lake went down. There’s light at the end of the tunnel and everybody’s excited. We’re just thrilled that this is all happening.”
The water was still knee-deep in some areas a month after the neighborhood was flooded. If the procedure is successful, the next move in Prior Lake will be to clean up the hundreds of sandbags that have protected homes in the neighborhood.
“I’ve got to hand it to the City of Prior Lake, they came up with a really good plan. They’re going to take care of it today, so hopefully by Sunday we’ll have a dry road,” said Julie Anderson, a homeowner on the lake.
Each barrier costs $115, but the city doesn’t have a total for how much this whole process is going to cost yet. They said they will ask FEMA for reimbursement.
City officials said they will do a study in the next year to try and see what permanent solutions can be out into place to keep the waters back in the future.