Flood of 2010 post-mortem–one year later

The Northfield News has a Remembering the Flood of 2010 feature in the Sept. 24 print edition. Only one of the four print articles is viewable from its online News category/section (and, strangely, none from its Flood of 2010 section). So I dug around and found them, as I think it’s a great follow-up to the flooding post-mortem blog post and discussion we had here on Locally Grown for several months starting a few days after the flood.

Nfld News series, Remembering the Flood of 2010, Sept. 24, 2011 edition:

See my photo album of the flood from Sept. 2010, the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:



  1. Where does it say that govt is responsible for where you build your home or business? If you are on the river, you are the one who wants to be there and take that risk. Why should taxpayers pay for any plant to warn you? You have been warned by the fact that you are living on a river who’s depth changes on a regular basis.

    September 28, 2011
  2. Jana Ritch-Kane said:

    Dear Bright,

    We live on the river. We did our due diligence prior to purchase, and yet, we have paid more dues than I hope you will ever know in your lifetime. We were not given the same information regarding past flood history on the structure as most buyers would have had, as we bought the house out of foreclosure from Fannie Mae…who as a Federal entity, is not subject to the same laws of disclosure as you and I are held to. Our family lost pretty much everything last fall, with the exception of the shell of our house, kids toys, baby pictures, all our clothes, even some pets. We have spent the last year living in a camper, in hotel rooms, and finally last May getting to move back into the house – with partial electric, no kitchen, a faulty septic, undrinkable well water, and the now pervasive mold. While spending this much time ‘camping’ with our family and small children has done some incredible things for our family dynamic, I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone. The Gov’t is NOT responsible for any warning system of any kind for us. It WOULD have been nice to have gotten access to the stock of sand bags that were trucked to North Dakota under police escort…paid for with FEMA money…front page news one morning as we were struggling to save our house (fail from Dakota Co), rather, they gave us the phone number to the source for buying bags, and told us to order sand locally. (“Sorry, you are the only residence in Dakota Co that has been impacted…”) It would have been nice to have gotten accurate gauge readings from the river and estimated peaks, etc. (The gauge has been broken for years.) It would have been nice for the (damn) dam operator up in Faribault to have known there were at-risk structures down river – he had no clue, so inundated us downstream with more water (opened the dam) in order to draw down Faribault. Keeping in mind, all the above, Dear Bright, along with the fact that the river flood regime’s change (almost compound) annually with the increase in development in former flood areas (Dundas), ag fields that are still tiled and drained to allow for more extensive ag use, and the increase in water runoff as we pave more and more – sending normal water/rainfall that should recharge ground water into the storm sewers and bypassing directly into watershed… (See death of the Calcareous Fens in Savage and Shakopee for established studies of groundwater discharge)

    So, for us… we don’t expect anything from the taxpayers. We have done everything on our own, and out of pocket. (Well, we had some great volunteers for a couple weekends from Carleton Cross Country team who run by our house, and a couple of St. Olaf students…) Please be careful with making assumptions, as we all don’t fit your mold of dependency and lack of personal responsibility. Peace and best wishes… 🙂

    December 1, 2011
  3. When I was young, I was flooded out of an apartment, not because the govt didn’t warn me, but because the people upstairs from me moved out in the middle of a cold winter’s night after loosing their two year old child in a lake storm, after I had warned the mother not to go out in the boat with the child and had also offered to watch the child if the mother still needed to go.

    I did not get a warning from them that they were moving and when the water pipes subsequently froze and burst, two of my walls caved in and the ceiling caved in right over all my clothes, and I almost lost my dog. So, I am no stranger to unexpected devastation and I am sorry for your loss.

    But, what people fail to understand is that the govt is like a very slow molasses in it’s speed of movement and like a very expensive champagne in it’s cost to accomplish anything. To have warned you and you alone about the river possible rising for whatever reasons, would have cost years of meetings, studies and otherwise better use of the people’s time and effort and money.

    My message to Americans is be independent, after all, that’s what got us here in the first place. When you depend on other’s, you don’t know what you are going to get, when you are going to get it and if you are going to get anything at all. Depend on yourself and you might get something sometime sooner.

    December 3, 2011