Walz and Franken stop by to assess storm damage

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton is traveling through parts of southern Minnesota to assess the storm damage, but other politicians are swinging through our area.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, DFL-Minnesota, and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, DFL-Minnesota, stopped by the Freeborn County Highway Department in Albert Lea.

They gathered the latest on damage from city and county leaders, and even some area farmers.

While Walz and Franken say federal dollars will likely be coming this way, there are still some challenges ahead.

“Not just repairing the damage to the public infrastructure, but trying to look forward to the future and build it in such a way that reduces the chances of this,” Franken said.

He and Walz say doing this would cost more in the short term, but over the long haul money would not be going to repair the infrastructure each year.

“The new technology, new engineering, or whatever, they’re asking us instead of just repairing things, why don’t we do flood abatements, things that make sure if it happens again, we don’t get the kind of damage, we don’t get the sewage being over flooded, we don’t get the old clay pipes collapsing or whatever,” Walz said.

Many counties are still waiting for water to go down to assess all of the damage.

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