Communities Brace for Flooding as Rivers Rise After Rain

July 04, 2018 10:23 PM

Southwest Minnesota has been socked with round after round of heavy rains and all that water is sending some rivers out of its banks.

The Cottonwood River in New Ulm is one of them, where forecasters are predicting major flooding in the next couple of days.


As he took his boat out for a quick fishing trip on the Fourth of July, Zach Apitz couldn't help but watch the creeping water line on the Minnesota River.

"This is the first year I've seen the river up that high for that long," Apitz said.

New Ulm sits sandwiched between the Minnesota and Cottonwood Rivers. The two join up on the south side of town. It's leaving many residents looking upstream with concerns.

"All it's going to do is rise for probably three or four more days," Apitz said.

The heavy rains that devastated neighboring counties pose a new threat for many spots that didn't get any rain this week, as all that water rushes down the Cottonwood River.

RELATED: Southwestern Minnesota Residents Continue Cleanup After Tuesday's Floods

A picture, courtesy of Nico Hawker, showed the river cresting and flooding out a two-lane highway outside of Lamberton Wednesday afternoon.

Apitz had family in the town, and said that's foreshadowing what his community will see next.

"It's coming this way for sure," Apitz said. "They said the Cottonwood River is up four feet."

Police in New Ulm said they are already preparing for a crest on Friday in major flood stage.

Barriers near a bridge that sits over the Cottonwood River are ready to be put into place when the water overtakes it.

Apitz, who lives south of town, said he should be fine even if it does flood.

"I got water in my basement but it shouldn't get to my house at all," he said.

But for others, only time will tell how bad the damage could be.

"It's going to get worse before it gets better," Apitz said.


Kirsten Swanson

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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