This week was a difficult one for our community with roads, farms, and residences flooded due to the record rainfall. I joined Governor Dayton yesterday during his visit to Owatonna, where he joined Emergency Management Director Mike Johnson to update local officials and press about flood relief efforts. Steele and Waseca Counties are among the many counties that are under a state of emergency due to the flood damage.
I want to say a special thanks to all of the emergency management team that has worked around the clock to help keep our residents safe as best they can. It's also been incredible to see the response of our community; neighbors helping neighbors to sandbag, clean flooded basements, and more. Our response to crises like these show the true character of our community, when we all come together to help each other in times of need.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and state emergency management officials will continue to monitor the situation and are urging residents to remain vigilant for potential power outages, rising flood waters, and flooded roads over the next few days. Thankfully it seems the rain has subsided for today at least, and we will hopefully see some of the flooding start to recede.
Please be sure to heed warnings from emergency officials about road closings, and don't attempt to cross flooded roadways if you encounter them. With potential rain in the forecast for this weekend, please note that sandbags will be available to pick up at the Public Works facility at 1140 Industrial Road. Sandbags are provided at no cost but must be picked up in-person.
Residents are also responsible for removal/disposal of sandbags. Residents who are unable to sandbag their home due to disability can request assistance by calling the CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) Hotline. The hotline also provides public information and will be staffed by volunteers. You can reach the CERT hotline by calling 507-444-2454
(the Owatonna Fire Department) who will transfer you to the hotline. All public questions should be directed to this number.
If your basement or home has not flooded yet but appears to be at risk in the event of more rain, you should take action now and remove items from your basement, or attempt to keep as much as possible off the ground.
Anyone who has had their home or business impacted by wind or flood damage should document and track expenses incurred, and contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report damages and file a claim.
If I can be of any assistance at all, please do not hesitate to contact my office. Email is the most effective way to reach me over the weekend, and you can send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office Monday-Friday at 651-296-5368. Any phone messages left over the weekend will be attended to as soon as possible on Monday morning.
Thank you for all that you're doing during this difficult time. Stay well,
State Representative, District 24A