By Anna Jauhola
Since the beginning of June, the southwest corner of Kittson County has experienced anywhere from 15 to 18 inches of rainfall.
This prompted Emergency Manager Scot Olson to present two disaster declarations at the Tuesday, July 21 meeting of the County Board of Commissioners.
The commission approved the declarations, which cover June 22-24 for Arveson and Springbrook townships and the city of Karlstad, and July 15-21 for Arveson Township and Karlstad.
“With all the heavy rains, they had overland flood water backup,” Olson said. “They had to do some pumping to get water out of the golf course.”
Olson has been compiling all the information for each entity and will request a state damage assessment. Once he receives that, he will write a letter to Gov. Tim Walz to request state aid.
Each entity has already begun repairs, Olson said.
Karlstad Clerk Garnette Hanson said most of the city’s issues occurred east of Highway 59, affecting the golf course and Oakridge Lane north of the course.
“The drainage is poor, so they have been pumping water into a ditch to get rid of it on the north side of the golf course,” Hanson said.
City crews were also busy monitoring and mitigating the storm sewers, which were “pushed to the max,” Hanson said.
Arveson Township Chair Darwyn Anderson said they have had 18 inches of rain since June 1 and had dealt with a lot of pumping. Part of the Karlstad Golf Club lies in Arveson Township, so they were working to pump water so it didn’t damage work houses on the course. The township also dealt with damage to one road east of the course.
Springbrook Township Chair Justin Dagen said they have had 15 inches since the beginning of June, leaving behind a large ditch bank failure in Section 9 of the township, and significant road damage. He added this year ranks toward the top of the worst for flood damage over the last 30 years or so.
“We’re so thankful the state stepped up,” Dagen said. “It means so much to us. It’s my belief that one of the fundamental functions of government is defense of the citizens and the construction and maintenance of roads. So I’m glad they’re here for us right now.”
The declarations the commission approved last week enables Olson to make requests for state aid, which will then help reimburse Karlstad and the townships for what money they have spent on repairs.
By Anna Jauhola