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Rocky Roads

June 18, 2014, 6:00 PM by Don Jorgensen

Rocky Roads

It's going to take months and perhaps millions of dollars to fix all the damage done by this week's heavy rain storms.

In many places, city, county and state officials are just beginning the long painstaking process of surveying the damage.  One area that's been hit especially hard is in Rock County Minnesota.

The damage is dramatic.  The recovery will be expensive.

"We're seeing damage that we're not accustomed to at river crossings, we are assessing that right now, but it's more damage than we've had in previous years," Rock County Highway Engineer Mark Sehr said.

This area received over nine inches of rain.  The Rock River rose quickly out of its banks washing out dozens of roads.

To make matters worse this dam at Blue Mound State Park near Luverne burst earlier this week taking out a couple of county bridges downstream.

"It didn't help because the river was almost full and the water had nowhere to go and it came this way instead of going that way," Sehr said.

Rock County Highway Engineer Mark Sehr has never seen anything like it in all of his 18 years on the job.

"A nine inch rain, you never heard of that before now, hell, we've had three in the last two years," Sehr said.

While some roads and bridges could be closed for up to four months, the county is doing what they can to keep some still driveable.

"We do have some one lane roads, because half the road is washed out, we are allowing traffic on them, because I do understand the need to get feed and things like that to our agricultural people," Sehr said.

Sehr estimates there could be as much as a half million dollars in damage, but when it will get repaired is anyone's guess.

"It just depends on when we get in to do it and line up the people to get it done," Sehr said.

Due to the flooding, Blue Mounds State Park is closed and all camping reservations at the park are being canceled through July 13.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is supposed to tour the area Friday.

The county is hoping the state will pass a disaster declaration in order to get state and federal funds to help rebuild what Mother Nature washed away.

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