Damages continue to be tallied in the wake of last week’s flooding.
Capt. Mike Bromberg, Olmsted County’s emergency management director, said that if costs top $272,000, the county, along with Rochester, could file a claim with the state’s disaster relief fund.
“If there is any money there, which is the big question, we’ll apply and go down that road,” he said Tuesday, noting debris cleanup efforts on county roadways and in Oxbow Park could bring the county close to the mark.
“I have not heard anything from the townships,” he said, noting that work done to address flooding damage and cleanup on township roads could add to a potential request for state funds.
In Rochester, Ken Jones, the city’s emergency management director, said no significant infrastructure damage has been noted as a result of the flooding that swept through the area Thursday night and Friday morning.
However, he said, hidden damages and costs could be found as the water continues to recede.
“Those things become evident when the water goes down,” he said, noting the process could take weeks.
Karlin Ziegler, Olmsted County’s parks superintendent, said some damage is starting to emerge at Oxbow Park, the county’s hardest-hit park.
All the picnic areas in the park northwest of Byron were under water at one point, with about 5 to 6 feet of water near the campground restrooms.
“It was about 18 inches higher than in the 2010 flood, so it was significantly worse this time,” she said, noting that the water quickly receded, allowing park staff to start cleanup efforts quickly.
“It did drop a lot of debris, so there’s a lot of damage in our picnic areas due to that,” she said.
While Zollman Zoo opened Tuesday, the Oxbow Park campground and picnic areas will be closed for at least a week as the grounds dry and cleanup work continues.
“Our picnic tables are kind of spread throughout the valley, so we will have to go and retrieve all those,” Ziegler said.
She said Root River Park, south of Rochester, was the only other county park to see notable damage from high water.
“There are going to be trees and stuff like that to clean up, because it did rise into the lower floodplain,” she said.
After being briefed on damages seen so far, Olmsted County Board Chairman Jim Bier said the results could have been worse, based on his past experiences.
“I think we actually ended up pretty lucky,” he said.