Rain causes county emergency status
A deluge of rain hit the area Monday night into Tuesday morning. Anywhere from two inches to 10 inches were reported in the area.
Ghent seems to have been hit with six inches or more. Lyon County Commissioner Rick Anderson said Balaton had five inches overnight.
The area already was saturated by the time the new rain arrived.
Many farmers indicated a fear for the growth of the soybeans. “They are already stunted,” said an area farmer, indicated additional rain can be very harmful.
What farmers were hoping for was sunshine and dry conditions. But that didn’t happen and it’s likely the current rain could severely affect the soybean crop.
Ghent and Marshall were hit more severely than Minneota. Ghent was flooded along Highway 68. A flooding advisory was released in the middle of the night into Tuesday morning.
The National Weather Service was attempting to warn individuals about rising water and dangerous conditions.
A powerful downpour washed out roads and flooded some basements in southwestern Minnesota. Lyon, Redwood and Murray counties were dealing with headaches Tuesday after an estimated six to 10 inches of rain fell overnight in some places.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed highways in some flooded areas and warned travelers about the threat of moving water sweeping away vehicles.
“Lyon County is under duress from the heavy rain last night,” said Lyon County Emergency Director Tammy VanOverbeke.
She asked the county to sign an emergency directive to be submitted to the state concerning the water emergency in Lyon County.
“I will send it to the state of Minnesota so they can declare an emergency,” she said. “There are state disaster funds we can get in addition to the federal funds,” said VanOverbeke.
“I contacted all of the cities. Cottonwood is sandbagging. Balaton was holding their own at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Ghent is sand bagging and has a permit to by-pass the lift station,” she said.
“Minneota is good; Russell is trying to get some pumps to help divert water into the river; Tracy is having huge problems. At least one house wall has collapsed and homes have water in the basements,” added VanOverbeke.
VanOverbeke indicated all areas for the county will be assessed to determine the amount of financial need following the water deluge. She said many roads are closed.
“It’s bad up there,” said VanOverbeke. “Rivers are coming up but this is because there is so much rain at once.”
Sgt. Eric Wallen of the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office says some vehicles had been trapped by the rising waters.
He says many home basements have taken in water. “Everything done now is considered emergency measures,” said VanOverbeke.
“Many fire departments responded to the emergency early Tuesday morning. The county doesn’t have enough vehicles so the firefighters have been a life saver,” she said.
The board approved the emergency resolution.