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Feds tour county to see damage first hand

By Staff | Oct 4, 2010

water pours over a dam that was being rebuilt by the DNR on the south side of Rice Lake after nearly 10 inches of rain fell in the area. The dam is located north of Winnebago and Delavan. The photo was shot by the Faribault County Sheriff’s Department during an aerial tour of the county right after the storms.

Several representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA), and personnel from the Office of Homeland Security were in Faribault County last week.

They were here to assess the flood damage which occurred after seven to 12 inches of rain hit the area.

Faribault County Sheriff Mike Gormley and Chief Deputy Scot Adams gave the federal agents a guided tour.

On Wednesday, the group assessed damage to private property, including basements in homes and farm fields.

Then, on Thursday, they looked at the county’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

When it was all over, they tallied the numbers.

“The FEMA people came up with $401,782,” Deputy Adams says. “It is a preliminary number, however.”

Adams says most of the damage was in the northern third of the county. “It follows a curved line north of Winnebago and over to Wells,” Adams says. “Minnesota Lake was hit the hardest.”

Areas to the south, such as Bricelyn and Kiester, do not have near the rain damage as up north, Adams says. Neither does Blue Earth or Elmore, although between five and seven inches of rain was recorded there.

While a lot of the water had receded by the time the FEMA representatives arrived, they were able to see a lot of the flooding thanks to Adams’ camera.

The deputy took 800 pictures while on an aerial tour of the flooding, while it was occurring. Plus, he has photos of damage in area fields and towns.

Adams says the next step is up to FEMA, and they will determine what designation the county falls into, and what types of federal assistance will be available.