JACKSON, Minn. (WCCO) – Devastating flooding continues Monday in communities across southern Minnesota.

So much so that state agencies have officially requested help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Preliminary numbers show damage in southern Minnesota from flooding will exceed $7.7 million in damage. That means the state should qualify for major federal assistance.

On Monday, Governor Mark Dayton made a second trip to the damaged areas. WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield shows us that the water is still quite high.

These are the images no one wants to see. But these are the images the Governor has to see for himself.

“You see those pictures of the ballfields, you really see how close it is to the overpasses, bridges,” Dayton said.

First, he went to Windom. Then, he went to Jackson in the southwest corner of the state.

“Magnitude of the water is just stunning, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Dayton said.

Ileen Ruskell has. She showed us this photo to prove it.

“That’s when I was a junior in high school.  You could not cross the road,” Ruskell said.

When the area flooded in 1969, she could not leave her house for five days.

“But I really believe the dykes we built – they saved our town,” Ruskell said.

But the ballpark is pretty much a wash. Those six foot gates have only inches to show.

Twenty people have reported basement damage to the optimistic emergency management director

“Right now we are hoping for sunshine, lots and lots of sunshine. No more rain,” Tawn Hall said.

The Des Moines River may have settled down a bit, but the coast isn’t clear.

The storm drain, if it clogs up, the whole town will flood. So this drain is crucial to the integrity of the town right now.

Neighbors are understandably worried.

“They said if that drain clogs the town could flood.  Yes we’re scared because it comes too fast like that,” Siphrachanah Insixingnay said.

They’re using a giant sink pump and some creative engineering for now, but are hopeful now that the Governor says the state will help.

Speaking of help, it’s also been flowing through this town.

“People out of the blue what do you need, I’ll get a truck, a skid load what do you need?” one volunteer said. “A lot of Minnesota nice. Yes, small town USA is the best.”

Over the weekend, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Collin Peterson also toured the damage, promising federal funds to help communities recover.

So far on Monday, Dayton visited Windom and Jackson. He also plans to stop in Blue Earth.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield