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Aging sewer systems provide another reason to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”

​Torrential rains have flooded many roads across Minnesota this summer, stranding drivers who attempted to drive through the high water.

A husband and wife are realizing just how lucky they were to be rescued when their car became submerged in Roseville in July. Harold Kulla admits he would have drowned had he and his wife been left in their car.

Roseville Public Works officials admit that there is no quick fix for the old storm water system to prevent flooding in that location. The issue is common in many Minnesota cities with aging storm systems, which is why no driver should attempt to go through standing water. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown!


Flood damage reviewed in four more counties

Willow River Dam Damage in Pine County, MN

Another week brings another round of Preliminary Damage Assessments for Homeland Security and Emergency Management teams who are reviewing flood damage in Aitkin, Carlton, Crow Wing and Pine counties. During these visits, staff members meet with county officials and emergency managers to discuss:

  • Invoice costs for completed work.
  • Estimates and a timeline for work that still needs to be completed.
  • Pictures of the damage.
  • Advice on next steps.

The Preliminary Damage Assessment in Pine County also included visits to several sites. The DNR reported a cost of $600,000 or more to repair the Willow Creek dam. One of two holding ponds at the Willow Creek wastewater treatment plant is a complete loss, with irreparable damage to the pond’s lining. Visits to Aitkin, Carlton and Crow Wing counties will continue over the coming week to review additional flood damages.

State Disaster Assistance for Itasca County & the Leech Lake Reservation

Governor Mark Dayton has authorized state aid to Itasca County and the Leech Lake Reservation for damages sustained in a thunderstorm on July 5. Itasca County reported more than $30,000 in damages. The Leech Lake Reservation totaled $83,000. The combined $113,000 will reimburse the county for debris removal and repairs made to wind damage to public property.

Under Minnesota law, the state reimburses 75 percent of the total eligible damage costs for each county. Each county is responsible for covering the remaining 25 percent of costs. These are the third and fourth requests for state assistance of 2016. Governor Dayton approved a request for State Disaster Assistance from Blue Earth and Nicollet counties on July 21.

Read Governor Dayton's authorization letter here.


Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC). It’s the first in series of videos, taking viewers inside the different divisions of the Department of Public Safety. Legislators are currently considering a bonding request for a new $33 million dollar SEOC in Arden Hills.