Thunderstorms have swept across western and central Minnesota, causing street flooding and wiping out an orchard’s apple crop the day before it was to be picked. The National Weather Service reports 2.7 inches of rain fell at the St. Cloud Regional Airport on Wednesday.
The federal government has denied Minnesota’s request to add Dakota County to a disaster declaration for recent severe storms and flooding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency notified the state about the rejection late Tuesday.
Hennepin and Ramsey counties have now been added to a presidential disaster declaration for damage from flooding and severe storms this summer. Gov. Mark Dayton’s office says adding the two counties means 37 counties and three tribal governments are now eligible to receive federal and state aid to recover from damage to public infrastructure. Dakota County is still assessing its damages.
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Months after the floods, one of the communities that saw some of the worst damage has a lot of cleanup and repairs to do. Heavy rain washed out major roads, triggered mudslides and flooded homes in the town of Blakeley, which is about an hour southwest of the Twin Cities.
A federal judge has ruled that a state lawsuit filed by upstream opponents of a Red River flood control project duplicates a federal complaint. U.S. District Judge John Tunheim on Thursday issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the lawsuit from moving forward in Minnesota state court.
Another $5 million in federal assistance is bound for Minnesota to help repair roads and bridges damaged by severe flooding in June. Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration said Thursday that the emergency repair money is on top of $5 million previously released by the Federal Highway Administration.
The federal government has expanded Minnesota’s flood disaster declaration to 24 more counties and two tribal governments. Last month President Barack Obama declared a disaster in eight Minnesota counties damaged by flooding, unleashing federal funds to help repair millions in damages.
Minnesota officials have hired a contractor to start stabilizing a highway closed by flood and mudslide damage. The Minnesota Department of Transportation tells the Mankato Free Press that GeoStabilization International of Grand Junction, Colorado, has begun work on Highway 19.
Commercial barge traffic should fully resume on the Mississippi River as early as next Tuesday. Parts of the heavily used upper Mississippi River were left impassible to barge and tug traffic after recent flooding left behind an unwanted surprise.
Golfers like Roosevelt Elliott are returning to tee it up on Hiawatha Golf Course in Minneapolis. “Really, really excited,” Elliot said. “I couldn’t wait to get out here because I wanted to get some exercise. I’ve been chipping and putting, you know, for the past month or so.”
President Obama has declared a disaster in eight Minnesota counties damaged by flooding, unleashing federal funds to help repair millions in damages. June and July storms hit more than 50 of the state’s 87 counties, costing Minnesota an estimated $55 million for flood response and repairs.
The suburban city of Farmington is offering itself up as a temporary fill-in for the state Capitol. State Rep. Pat Garofalo says his city would be perfect to host a special legislative session to address spring flooding damage.
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.
Four weeks have passed since heavy rain invaded Watershed Trail in Prior Lake, Minn. Since then, people who live along the lake have dealt with floodwater that has closed streets, leaving boats as the only way to get into and out of homes. “Everybody has a boat that they use to pull their groceries in,” said resident Julie Anderson.