By Emily Bialkowski
Houston County Emergency Management wants residents near flood prone areas and those residing on or near bluffs to be prepared to evacuate. The county was put under a state of emergency Sunday at 3 p.m. after heavy rains caused significant flooding over roadways throughout the county. One car was swept off the road on County 15, Houston County Emergency Management Director Kurt Kuhlers said. The incident resulted in the rescue of one individual. No other injuries or deaths have been reported at this time.
Preliminary damage estimates have already hit the $2,000,000 mark for the county highway system. Township officials have until this Friday to report road damage figures.
The water-saturated hillsides and valleys have officials on high alert.
“We’re very concerned. The bluffs can’t take much more moisture at this time, and we’re worried there will be mudslides,” Kuhlers said.
“Our drainage system is maxed out right now and it won’t take a lot of rain to get back to a flash flood condition. We ask residents to be prepared for an evacuation and don’t drive through water across roadways. We say turn around and don’t drown.”
Travel throughout Houston County remains limited. Roadways are either washed out or under water.
Residents are being asked to take notice of changing weather conditions. Water can rise very quickly.
Also, reports of damaged foundations continue to trickle into the emergency management office. If your home has been damaged, you are asked to contact the Houston County Emergency Management Office at 507-725-5834. Doing so may open the door to federal assistance for the county, Kuhlers said.
Road closures as of June 23
County 4 – Faller hill by Rooster Valley Rd
County 5 – North of New Albin.
County 10 – Schecks Mill area
County 12 – Tom Falls to County 11
County 15 – to Fillmore County Line
County 25 – State 16 to County 21
County 27 – total washout at 16776, west of Bangs, will be closed for awhile
County 31 – Cty 5 to Cty 2 Cut Across Road
Freeberg Ridge Road – fire or Ambulance will have to go out Jefferson Ridge Road
Hamilton Road in Brownsville
Mound Prairie Drive
Swede Bottom Road
Marina Road in Brownsville
Rooster Valley near County 4