Flooding wipes out Mill Towns Trail bridge, slices Armstrong Road, undermines railroad bed

Another (100-year?) rainfall ‘event’ has brought me out of my blogging hiatus.

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I took these photos early this afternoon on Armstrong Road near the Northfield compost facility where runoff from this morning’s torrential rainfall cut through the road, washed away the Mill Towns Trail bridge, and completely undermined the railroad bed.

More photos to come? Probably.

Update 7 am, July 14:

More photos to show the size of the washout on Armstrong Road.

A construction crew evidently arrived yesterday and has begun work on the railroad bridge. My friend used to do water damage repair in Los Angeles and is on the work crew.

Update July 18:  A few more of my flooding-related photos below. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.




  1. Ross Currier said:

    Wow, amazing pictures, Griff.

    July 14, 2013
  2. Curt Benson said:

    Hey Griff, I’m glad you took a hiatus from your hiatus. These are great pictures. I’m surprised to see how rapidly the repairs were begun.

    July 14, 2013
  3. Margaret Colangelo said:

    Thanks Griff. We drove out there today, and saw you biking away. Mother Nature is an awesome force!

    July 14, 2013
  4. Paul Jackson said:

    Fantastic pictures. I wonder, given this is getting to be a frequent event, if UPR will actually increase the sizing of their culvert system. I hope they take a little time (not too much, but some) to think about what sizing needs to happen when 200-500 year floods become the norm. Both both the county culvert and rail culvert were undersized.

    July 15, 2013
  5. Mitch Merxbauer said:

    Wow Griff! These pictures are extraordinary.

    July 16, 2013
  6. Brendan Gilmore said:

    Amazing pics. Bet you didn’t know one of those orange/yellow lines carries all CenturyLink long distance traffic from the whole state of South Dakota. Still down as of now.

    July 16, 2013
  7. George Kinney said:

    I agree, Paul. And now would be the time to properly size all three culverts for the three transportation modes cut by the latest flood. Then start thinking about mitigating all the flooding in our region, since it seems to be becoming a yearly event. The Armstrong Road culvert needed replacing, but this was a rough way to get it done!

    July 17, 2013
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Paul/George, they reopened the old culvert and put in a new larger secondary one. I’ll try to get photos.

    July 18, 2013

Comments are closed.