Flood mitigation advisory panel needs volunteers

By Seth Schmidt

The City of Tracy is forming a task force to help develop solutions to the town’s water run-off issues and flood risks.

“We need to develop a master plan for getting the water out of Tracy,” City Administrator Kris Ambuehl told the city council Monday.

Volunteers are sought for a committee to help formulate a “flood mitigation” plan for Tracy.  People with expertise in drainage issues and knowledge of the water run-off patterns in the community  are especially welcome.  Referring to the torrential rainfall of July 3 and catastrophic flooding that occurred, Ambuehl said that Tracy has a pressing need to identify the sources of the community’s incoming run-off and drainage bottlenecks.  Large amounts of run-off entered Tracy from the south and southwest on July 3, he noted, and flowed through the town in a northeasterly direction along an old creek bed.  Areas where water back-ups occurred, the administrator said, demonstrate the urgent need for drainage improvements in the community.

Ambuehl said he’d like a Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources hydrologist to draft a drainage mitigation plan with the help of a local committee.  His hope is that state and/or federal disaster funding will pay for the drainage improvements.

“Every time there is a disaster, mitigation funding follows,” he said.  Ambuehl’s goal is to make sure Tracy qualifies for the flood mitigation assistance while developing workable solutions.

We need to have everything in place before we start spending large sums of money,” regardless of the source of that funding, he said.

Ambuehl stressed that his goal is to get flood mitigation measures put in place without local taxpayer dollars.