Local flood control efforts

AUSTIN, Minn. –  City officials continue to pay close attention to local water levels.

On Thursday night, a pre-planned meeting in Austin was held to inform residents about the community’s ongoing flood protection efforts. Considering the recent weather, it was a packed house.

“The first time I saw the water come up, you’re scared,” says Marian Clennon.

She is a resident of Austin and when the water by her home rises, she takes notice.

“In previous years, there’s been quite a few times where it comes up and you see how it effects the neighbors,” says Clennon.

She and her neighbors are just a few of the folks in attendance at the informational meeting. City officials went over the precautionary measures residents should be taking to protect their homes and what the city is doing to prevent flood damage like they saw in 2004.

“Flooding is always in the background of our mind, we’re always working to try to improve it and help the residents out throughout the city,” says City Engineer, Steven Lang.

He says one project is already underway.

“It will protect those businesses that are currently in the flood plain along the north main area. It will provide approximately 3 feet of protection over the 2004 flood which was our flood of record,” says Lang.

However, that doesn’t necessarily help those who see water rise into their back yards.

“In previous years there’s been quite a few times where it comes up and you see how it effects the neighbors,” says Clennon.

Now, levels are high enough to cause some concern, but many are not hitting the panic button just yet.

“Most of it is within the banks, Turtle Creek is getting outside of its banks so we’ve done some precautionary measures with all the different creeks coming through town,” says Lang.

So, they’re watching the weather and hoping for a break from the rain.

“I hope to see some sun, that would be great,” says Lang.

For now, they are urging residents to keep an eye on water levels and sand bag if necessary and if you do any sub-pumping, he says make sure you are pumping it on the lawn.

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