By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The small community of Blakeley Township was evacuated Thursday in anticipation of the storms.

Last week’s heavy downpour caused mudslides and compromised roads there, cutting off access to get in and out of town.

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The Scott County Sheriff’s Department and Emergency Management crews have used ATVs to take residents home to get belongings.

“Oh my, oh my, oh my, it’s really something. It’s scary. I’m still shaking from Thursday when they told me it was bad,” resident Carol Peterson said.

Peterson was able to see her home and the rest of town for the first time since Blakeley was evacuated. She grabbed a few things when she left, but she left behind medicine and other essentials.

Sheriff’s deputies took people to see their homes on ATVs. Peterson saw what the water left behind.

“I have never seen it such a mess, trees and mud. Mud, just lots of mud,” Peterson said.

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She said friends’ homes have standing water in the basement. Her house is on higher ground and fared better.

“It seems to be a little damp, but so far so good. I feel so sorry for the people who are losing, and oh the work, I mean it’s going to be a long time before those roads can get opened up,” Peterson said.

Scott County Emergency Management Director Chris Weldon said the roads to get to Blakeley are the worst in the county. That was a main reason for the early evacuation.

“All the roads coming in are compromised in one way or another. They are completely impassable or we’re concerned they are going to become impassable. You just are kind of overwhelmed at times with the damage that’s been done and what water can do,” Weldon said.

This is the first time in Peterson’s 34 years of living in Blakeley that she’s had to evacuate and stay with family. She’s ready to get home.

“Say a prayer for the people, all of us there, where we can get back into our homes,” Peterson said.

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Weldon said the county hopes to have a better idea on Monday when residents can permanently get back in to their homes. It will likely take a while. First power will have to be restored and the roadways will need to be deemed safe for driving.

Jennifer Mayerle