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Flood gates installed in Henderson as city braces for flooding

March 19, 2019 10:11 PM

Flood gates are going up in Henderson earlier than city officials originally anticipated as the Minnesota River rises.

MnDOT has closed Highway 19 to Highway 169 because of flooding. Highway 93 south of Henderson also remains closed.

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"We've seen a lot of flooding here," said Randall Culbert, who has to deal with the flooding. 

For 30 years, Randall and Evelyn Culbert have called near downtown Henderson home. But sitting just off Highway 93 on the outskirts of town is not always convenient.

RELATED: Flood preparation still underway on St. Croix, roads remain closed in south central Minnesota

"I love it, until it floods then it's like what are we still doing here," said Evelyn.

"Usually it's gradual and I'll watch it and it's coming fast this time. I think it's going to be a big one," Randall said. 

The city of Henderson is installing flood walls at Highway 19 to the east and Highway 93 to the south. They even had to move this work up a day because of the rising water levels.

"I foresee this as one of those higher crests this year," said Randy Tiegs, Henderson Fire Chief. 

Tiegs tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS while this work is routine, they have to plan for it.

"It's hard to judge, it's hard to determine what's going to happen," Tiegs said. 

KSTP spring flooding coverage

While the levee will go a long way to protect many, Tiegs says there are already homes that are only accessible by boat. Any homeowner that needs help getting out should call 911.

"Transportation is an issue," Tiegs said.  

The Culbert's are dry now, but not for long. Luckily, like many not protected by the levee, they have a plan.

"It's a bummer when you have to leave the house," Evelyn said. "Most of the time it's by boat."

City officials say they'll be watching the water levels closely before determining when to re-open the highways and take down the flood gates. 

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Brett Hoffland

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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