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Five-Year Anniversary Of Aberdeen Flood

May 7, 2012, 6:39 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Five-Year Anniversary Of Aberdeen Flood
ABERDEEN, SD -

The City of Madison is reaching out to Aberdeen for advice handling the aftermath of heavy rains.

This past weekend was the fifth anniversary of a major flood in the Hub City. Aberdeen's city engineer spoke with Madison officials Monday after a heavy downpour hit Madison over the weekend.

Aberdeen not only faced cleanup efforts at the time. It’s also been working to prevent future flooding.

Since the 2007 flood, the city has spent more than $2.5 million on its storm sewer system and $500,000 on the sanitary sewer. There are millions of dollars worth of additional projects in the works as well.

Considering the way streets and homes in Aberdeen looked five years ago, Steven Post likes to see the projects taking place.

"Any time we get a big rain like that or we see the big cells building or every color on the radar, yeah, we always think about it," Post said.

Post's home is in a northern Aberdeen neighborhood where water covered streets and filled homes.

A large holding pond the city built since the flood should help prevent a repeat in the future, at least in the north part of town. It's designed to hold back excess water so it doesn't all flow that direction at the same time.

That's just one project the city has done. It’s starting to spend more on work to its sewer systems as well.

"Each budget year we try to come up with a number of projects. We try to do $2 million to $3 million worth each year in different areas," city engineer Robin Bobzien said.

Another part of town near the Second Street overpass was hit hard by flooding in 2007. The drainage system there can handle between five and six inches of rain falling in a day but not another eight or nine. There are several places that would be hurting if a downpour to that degree hit again.

"It's not that we're sitting back and just waiting to see what happens. We are doing projects but there's never enough money to go around to get them all at the same time either," Bobzien said.

In fact, the city is holding back on some street work so it can afford more drainage improvements.

Back on the north side of town, Post is happy with the efforts and hopes they don't end.

"We feel a lot better now," Post said. "Hopefully we just don't get hit like that again."

Aberdeen is still dealing with flooding effects five years later. For example, water damaged some sewer lines as it overwhelmed them and some still need to be fixed.

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