Heavy rains cause damage to Wilmington Township roads
Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:53 AM
Three days of heavy rainfall and strong winds raised havoc with roads and bridges in Wilmington Township, as masses of rushing water from the area made its way into northeast Iowa.
This picture was taken on Saturday between 11:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. before the area received an additional five inches of rain on Saturday night/Sunday morning. This washed out culvert on Bangs Road is on the southwest side of the Bonanza Grain Quarry before going up the hill.
Detour lifted on Highway 44
By Heather M. Gray
Sunday morning, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) officials sent out a press release stating that Highway 43 is closed between Mabel and Choice due to water over the road and damage to the roadbed. The highway will remain closed until further notice.
Highway 43 was being used as a detour route for the Highway 44 construction project. The Highway 44 detour has been temporarily lifted. City officials noted that this means more semi traffic and regular vehicle traffic will be going through Spring Grove since there are not many other options for traveling at this time and ask residents to be patient.
Hwy. 44 was originally slated to be closed from Prosper (intersection with Hwy. 52) to Spring Grove for the next phase of road work - replacement of culverts and then prepare for road milling and resurfacing. MnDOT has not released if this will affect the current timelines for the Main Street construction in Spring Grove or when the culvert work will be rescheduled.
For updated travel information visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.
The amounts of measurable rainfall varied from area to area, but at the Gary and Jan Lee Buxengard farm, the storm on Friday morning, June 21, dumped 2.2 inches in the rain gauge. For Saturday morning's storm, the amount was 3.2 inches, and the Saturday night through Sunday morning event measured 4.2 inches.
Also on Saturday morning, some farms on the east side of the township experienced hail that stripped the corn and soybean leaves.
With an unusually wet spring, many crops were just getting a good start growing and some were newly planted. In most areas, hay land had recently been cut and harvested. There was much cropland vulnerable to erosion.
On Saturday morning, Greg Myhre, chairman of Wilmington Township Board, had been out to put up "Road Closed" signs.
"The Bangs Road is washed out. It's gone!" he reported.
This road is located off County Hwy. 27 on the northeast and runs southwest towards Four Corners Drive.
On this road, the bridge deck on the north end is washed out to the culvert part of the bridge. On the southwest end, debris in the waterway/creek washed away the roadway between the bridges by Bonanza Grain Quarry.
Parts of culverts dangled in the air because the rushing waters had eroded the road bank away.
While traveling the township roads on the southern part of the township (below County Hwy. 17), Julie Amundson, Wilmington Township Clerk, was recording, documenting and photographing damage to roads and bridges. The north part of the township will get documented next.
Also among roadway washouts/ undercuts are on Southview Road, Sylling Road, Four Corners Road, Homewood Road, Ranzenberger Road, Sanness Road and Church Road.
In Bee, debris clogged part of the bridge opening on the south side, causing the waters to widen out into the lawn of Verdon and Mona Olson.
Verdon stated he had gotten up early that morning and was watching the situation. In one hour's time, the flow had increased dramatically. This bridge also experienced more wash out during the Saturday-Sunday event.
"It's following the same path of previous years," Amundson commented, referring to the large flood events in 2007 and 2009.
"Almost every road experienced some sort of damage," she added.
"Next, we wait and see if this, too, will be declared a disaster area," she stated.
Once again the township's finances will likely be hit hard to repair the storm damage.
Kurt Kuhlers, Houston County Emergency Manager, reports that the area is in a state of emergency, but not declared disaster.
For more information on the countywide damage and state of emergency, look elsewhere in this week's Herald.