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Prior Lake Extends State of Emergency for 30 Days

Updated: 07/03/2014 7:01 AM
Created: 07/02/2014 3:21 PM KSTP.com
By: Todd Wilson

All the rain we've been getting continues to deliver a heavy blow to the City of Prior Lake.

The city is looking at flooding that could continue for another three weeks before they see any relief.  

Ron Ellingson stands on his back deck facing a swollen Prior Lake. He's laid more than 3,000 sandbags and several float valves.

"You can see down here seepage is coming around and it drains down to that guy, that one runs a little less frequently but a little longer," he said.

In three weeks the Prior Lake area has gotten 9 1/2 inches of rain. As of Wednesday afternoon the lake elevation was 906.13 feet above sea level.

"We're about a quarter inch lower than the peak," Prior Lake Mayor Ken Hedberg said.

Hedberg declared a local state of emergency. Wednesday the declaration was extended 30 days.

"For two reasons, we need to take care of our residents and take care of our city infrastructure, particularly the sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water supply," he said.  

The direct cost to the city because of all the flooding is in the neighborhood of $150,000. Declaring a local emergency was also a strategic move to qualify for federal aid from FEMA and other agencies. But to asses the damage they have to wait for the water to go down.

"That's the other reason we are raising the alarm to let all the agencies know, hey we are in line but our situation is somewhat unique and we are not going to have data for you for a good long time," Hedberg said.

Ellingson says the flooding has ruined his summer.

"My estimation is that we won't get to use this area as we would normally use it till next year," he said.

Two families have abandoned their homes because of flooding in Prior Lake. By extending the declaration of emergency it gives the city the power to go into those homes and shut off the electricity, plug drains or toilets so there isn't any backup.

  


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