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W’bago to seek federal aid

September 24, 2010
Jodelle Greiner — Staff Writer

WINNEBAGO - Heavy rains overnight Wednesday and into Thursday have prompted the Winnebago City Council to call an emergency meeting.

Winnebago Mayor Randy Nowak said the meeting, to be held 5 p.m. today, is in response to all the rain.

"We had six or seven inches," he said.

Faribault County commissioners asked Winnebago officials to meet and request funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Nowak said.

City Administrator Austin Bleess issued an e-mail to the media Thursday stating the purpose of the meeting would be "to pass a resolution asking the governor to petition the President of the United States to declare the City of Winnebago to be a major disaster area."

Blue Earth was faring far better Thursday afternoon.

"At this point, we're in pretty good shape," City Administrator Kathy Bailey said around noon, adding that Blue Earth did not lose power during the night.

"We didn't receive the rains like (Truman) did," she noted. "This morning as I was coming in to work, it was 5 and a half (inches)," she said.

While she was talking, a radio announcer said Blue Earth was up to 7 inches.

"We're in our normal situation," Bailey said. "We don't have any streets flooded."

Some Blue Earth residents were reporting flooded basements, but that is normal after a storm, Bailey said.

"Being in the river table, we're in the fork of the Blue Earth River, we have a fairly high water table in our groundwater," she explained.

Her biggest worry is being able to get construction work back on track. Fourth Street remains rough - and now muddy - on both sides of Main Street. The construction was undertaken in part to help take care of the results of storms like the one Wednesday night.

"Part of our phased improvement in our battle against (inflow and infiltration)," said Bailey, referring to storm water entering the sanitary sewer system.

She knows the bad weather means completion of the project will take longer.

"We'd like to have a conversation with whoever keeps sending us the rain," she said.



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