City Officials: Blakeley Residents Could be Evacuated for Weeks

Updated: 06/24/2014 7:23 AM
Created: 06/23/2014 5:00 PM
By: Beth McDonough

Power and phone service remain out in the small town of Blakeley in Scott County. The town of about 500 was evacuated last week because of rising waters from the Minnesota River.

One of the biggest problems is getting in and out of town, which is nearly impossible with destroyed roads and fallen trees.

Diane Gold-Rohde and her family checked into a Belle Plaine hotel last Thursday. That was after the sheriff knocked on their Blakeley home and said they had 20 minutes to evacuate because high water was washing out roads around town.

Gold-Rhode was able to return home to grab a few things and saw the devastation up close. "I would say we were blessed, we were lucky. There are homes that have been demolished and been flooded; our home is dry," Gold-Rhode said.

Other families told us they're camping, still others are staying with friends or relatives.

Scott County held a meeting Monday night with residents to give them a timeline of when they may return to their homes. They learned it could take up to two weeks.

An Xcel spokesperson said some electricity could be restored by late Tuesday.

"Once power is back in your home, you can stay there; that's up to you. We're not telling anybody you can't stay home," Scott County Emergency Management Director Chris Weldon said.

At the crowded meeting, residents also learned a seismic monitor device will be installed to keep tabs on ground movement to make sure the ground is stable enough. Residents also questioned if an erosion control project might have contributed to the roads giving way.

Displaced residents asked the county for financial help to get by.

Gov. Mark Dayton plans to meet with Scott County emergency managers and local elected officials at the Belle Plaine Fire Department on Tuesday morning.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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