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Sep 23

Rain Rain Go Away...For Fall is Underway

Posted on September 23, 2016 at 4:07 PM by Ryan Hiniker

Drainage update 9/23/2016


Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:

  • JD9 (LeRay Twp.) Preliminary improvement public hearing. Meeting will be held 9/27 in the county commissioner board meeting room on the second floor of Historic Courthouse at 9:35 am.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) Landowner informational meeting will be held Monday 9/26 at 2 pm on the 3rd floor of the Historic Courthouse.  Those landowners that this meeting pertains to should have received a letter informing them of this upcoming meeting.


Project updates:

  • CD34 (Judson Twp.) Crews were working very hard this week at laying pipe and have done very well even with the wet conditions.  This site got missed Tuesday night from major rain, only getting 0.2”.  Wednesday night’s storms put a shut down to this site for the rest of the week.  I’m very happy with the progress Cooreman Contracting has made despite the 40-plus rain days this season.  Very hopeful that the rest of this project will get done before “freeze up” this winter.

CD34 project 09212016
CD34 project running south along easterly side of CSAH 112

  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.)  Multiple crews have been working on this project lately.  We have a pumping crew pumping water from the north easterly end of this system down to the south end of the system.  They are pumping approximately 1.85 miles through an 8” hose.  This is a very large scale pump and is moving 2,600 gallons per minute.  The old concrete main is still performing at some capacity, but the old metal pipe main is non-functional because of excessive rains and multiple points of failure.  We are trying to pump and move water from the old metal pipe line to help “dewater” areas so that work can resume.  Our current contractor that was supposed to be installing the new 48” pipe to replace the two failing other mains will not be back until conditions are fit for installation.  These soils and extremely wet conditions are a recipe for a very difficult project.

CD28 pump
CD28 pump: pumping 2,600 gallons per minute over 1.8 miles.


It’s Officially Now Fall 2016: 

Yesterday was officially the first day of fall for 2016.  In case you haven’t been out and about in the countryside lately, harvest 2016 has begun. Many farmers have started taking corn out this past week in areas that are dry enough to get to.  Corn has been drying down at very quick rates this past month, and soybeans are close behind.  Yields should be fairly good where it’s not too wet and muddy, but nothing like corn yields of last season.

Please, a quick reminder to give these farmers and operators extra space on the road.  Don’t cut in between multiple pieces of equipment when trying to pass on the road.  Some of these equipment operators may be new to driving the equipment, or even extremely fatigued from long hours of operating, so give them some extra room.

combine pic 1
2016 fall harvest underway.


Rain Rain Go Away:

I usually have some sort of piece each week about a different topic.  Well, this week it feels like the “elephant in the room" is the extremely heavy rains this week.

I can speak personally that in two days I dumped out 7.5” of rain at my house.  I know that the totals were all over the board, especially going east of Mankato.  Many of us probably woke up to a squishy feeling between our toes Thursday morning, I know I did.  There are lots of us that got wet basements and the cleanup and costs are exhausting.  Hopefully you had sump pump insurance for those folks that got flooded.

The recent rains have caused failures of roads and other infrastructure.  Blue Earth County did hold an emergency commissioner meeting to declare a state of emergency.  I know Craig and I will be very busy next week and the weeks to come, as the storm waters start to go down and we will get to see just how much damage this caused to our ditch and tile systems. 

Our surrounding communities are looking for help, I know St. Clair is in need of people to help with sandbags and other duties to prevent the river from swallowing up houses on that north easterly end of town.  There are also a lot of roads that were closed as of yesterday, and possibly more to come.  The link below is a quick list of what Blue Earth County had for road closures as of 9/22/2016.  Remember to follow law enforcement direction and not cross these flooded road areas, as the actual road may be washed out completely.

If you're one of the many that got a flooded basement, like myself, then you will have a busy weekend.  Be safe, ask for help if need be, and be neighborly and lend a hand, you never know when you’ll need the help in return.  Make the best of the weekend and hopefully we can dry up for a while.


Recent Drainage Inspections – week of September 12 – September 16:

  • CD01 (McPherson Twp.) Inspected a field crossing driveway that was washing out.  I’m suspecting that a larger culvert is needed to handle peak flows better.
  • JD33 (McPherson Twp.)  Investigated a couple issues with broken intakes and erosion issues with these intakes.
  • CD28 (Lincoln Twp.) Lots of time spent out on this system this week.  As the rains continue and the water is still backing up, we have been trying everything we can.  Pumping efforts seems to be the only thing at this point that is still working. 
  • Multiple other ditches got looked at from the windshield yesterday, but until the storm waters subside, not much damage will be visible.

CD96 new weir
CD96 new concrete weir structure holding up.


Upcoming Drainage Inspections:

  • CD27 (Butternut Valley Twp.)
  • JD38 (Sterling Twp.)
  • JD49 (Sterling Twp.)
  • CD78 (Vernon Center Twp.)
  • CD01 (McPherson Twp.)

Please call with issues you observe, as there is a lot of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage department.  We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns as we receive them.


Ryan Hiniker
Drainage Management Specialist