MANKATO, Minn. – Hours after residents across Mankato woke up to flooded basements and closed roads, they are still cleaning up the mess. Chase Sutton and his family helped a local restoration company haul wet and soggy carpet from his basement to the curb. Sutton said his sump pump failed.
"It is just stuff...so that is ok. As long as my family is fine that is all that matters," Sutton said.
Seven inches of rain fell across parts of the region late Tuesday and early Wednesday. A laundry list of roads were closed in downtown Mankato due to flooding. Covers were lifted off manholes by pressure from water surging through the storm sewer system.
Miles away from the Sutton home, Bob Julian took matters into his own hands. He ripped out the wet, soggy carpet that once blanketed his basement.
"That is heavy. When it was full of water it was really heavy," he said as he tossed the carpet onto the back of a trailer. "It would be easier to call an insurance company (and) have an adjuster come over and hire someone to get it all done but this was a surprise that we woke up to this morning and it is not getting better without doing anything."
The rain was too much for the community to handle. But thanks to a flood control system installed in the 60's the outcome wasn't severe. The director of public works, Mary Fralish, said the water was diverted.
"We diverted it to the pumping station and then pump that directly into the river. If we didn't have that system then the water would be flowing from the river into the downtown area," she said.
Downtown was spared but not State Highway 66 between County Road 35 and U.S. Highway 169. A mudslide forced officials to close the highway. It finally re-opened after workers with the Minnesota Department of Transportation spent the day clearing debris and mud. The heavy rain washed out a portion of the shoulder which was repaired.
Earlier stretches of US 169 had closed between Mankato and St. Peter. It reopened at approximately 6 a.m.