Planning for the worst

AND SO IT BEGINS — Water from melting snow shut down this part of Highline Road near Tracy Area High School Monday.

Area officials gathered in Marshall last week to get on the same page when it comes to preparing for probable flooding

By Per Peterson

In what was perhaps the understatement of what has been a long winter for everyone, Lyon County Emergency Coordinator Tammy VanOverbeke summed up her thoughts of the recent weather last week: “This flooding stuff is getting really, really old.”
VanOverbeke was speaking in front of a large group of area city officials at a meeting at the Law Enforcement Center in Marshall on Wednesday evening. The meeting to discuss the very real potential for flooding this spring was well-timed, as a flash flood warning had been issued for Lyon County earlier that day.
“Between the Chanhassen Weather Service and the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, they felt that the area, and specifically Marshall, was going to see some significant flooding,” VanOverbeke said. “Just the idea that they’re even thinking of that possibility tells me that this is going to be an historical event. We’re going to hear, ‘Never saw this before,’ over and over again, like we heard a lot last spring and summer.”
VanOverbeke’s audience included city personnel and/or fire department members from the cities of Minneota, Lynd, Garvin, Balaton, Ghent, Russell and Marshall. Tracy was represented by Public Works Director Shane Daniels and City Administrator Kris Ambuehl. Lyon County officials were also on hand. DNR hydrologist Lucas Youngsma was also in attendance.
One of the main talking points of the meeting was sandbags. She said there are two sandbag machines available through the State of Minnesota, the closest one being in Windom. The machine fills bags with sand very quickly, as opposed to doing it by hand, VanOverbeke said.
“If we have a need for that, we’ll try to get that here as soon as we can,” VanOverbeke said.
VanOverbeke also made sure that everyone knew where they were going to get their sand, if needed.
“D & G brought us 18 yards (last Tuesday),” Daniels said. “We called them at noon and they were there at 3 o’clock.”
It was pointed out that sandbagging had already taken place at the Lynd School on Wednesday.
“Right now, as far as the county goes, I am not giving sandbags out to any county residents,” VanOverbeke said. “If a township calls and they have a town hall in trouble or something like that that would be different. But for people to use them around their house, no.”
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.