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Mar 18

Winter Rains

Posted on March 18, 2019 at 5:06 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 3/18/2019


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • We will be holding landowner meetings next week for drainage systems JD14 and CD52.  The specific times, locations, and other meeting details are included in the mailing that affected landowners should receive very soon.  Call or email with questions or concerns.   
  • Water Storage Seminar is being hosted at the Kato Ballroom on April 4th. Click here for more information or take a look at the flyer below.WS_Flyer_final_s (002)

Project Updates:


  • CD86 (Beauford Twp.)  Crews started last week with preparing the worksite by removing snowAs we all know, the rains started last week and didn’t seem to want to stop, so now the site is a large mud mess.  Crews are expecting delivery of pipe sometime soon, and almost all other materials are on-site to get repairs made when it dries up somewhat.    

Drainage minutes

The aftermath of our winter rains from last week has been less than pleasant.  Yes, it’s still winter until Wednesday, March 20.  It seemed like in a matter of 48 hours we went from worrying about roofs collapsing and ice dams, to flooding.  Many people are dealing with wet basements and ponding water issues on their property.

Many of our ditch systems and rivers are experiencing the same issues.  We are very fortunate in comparison to some of our neighboring states that are experiencing catastrophic flooding and horrible blizzards.  Many ranchers out in the western states lost many head of cattle from the rains and then a horrible blizzard that simply left cattle buried and stranded.

Locally we aren’t out of the danger zone of flooding yet, and we might not be for a while.  We are expected to see flood stage rivers yet this week. 

We finished last year in a very wet manner and 2019 is starting up right where 2018 left off.  Many tile lines and intakes are still frozen in areas, so water ponding in fields will be a very common sight until things thaw out and begin to drain.  We have a large number of repairs from last year to still finish up. 

Please be don’t be afraid to call in and check with us about the status of a repair from last year.  Please also be patient, as things are less than favorable to be out working with equipment currently.  We are working with six plus contractors to make sure we can get as many repairs done as possible.  I know that this spring will have a short window between getting repairs made and planters rolling in fields.  Please remember that we do not allow non-licensed or non-insured individuals to make repairs to a county drainage system.  Any unauthorized work or work done by non-licensed or insured individuals is subject to rejection of payment.  Yes, these public drainage systems are often located on private land, but they are publicly-managed for the benefit of all in the watershed. 

Please keep it in mind to call and report issues as soon as you find them.  Repairs will be repaired in the order they are reported as much as practical. 

Drainage is having a fun field day this Friday.  I will give details of this field day next week.  Hint: it’s a really advanced piece of technology. 
flood picflood pic 3

Here are some pictures of flooding from last week.  There's almost 15 feet of water and snow in the ditch in the right picture.

Recent Drainage Inspections – week of March 11 – March 15:

  • I was out observing many areas of flooding.  The rain - combined with large amounts of snow and ice still in many of our open ditches - leads to a flooding combination.  It will take a while for the snow and ice to melt in our open ditches.  As the open ditches and rivers slowly open up, flood waters should recede fairly quickly.

flood pic 4flood pic 3

More flood photos.  Both of these ditches have around 15 feet plus of water, ice and snow in them.  Imagine a two story house size wall of water, yeesh. 

We require that all repairs to a county drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.




Ryan Hiniker

Drainage Management Specialist