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Roads Flooded in Albert Lea

Posted at: 06/24/2013 5:48 PM
By: Dan Conradt

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It wasn’t exactly business as usual for commuters in Albert Lea on Monday, and it could be a while before we’re back to normal.

Barricades kept motorists away from standing water at East Main Street and William Street, just down the hill from downtown Albert Lea.

"That's one of the first areas that we watch and when that goes under water we know to watch some of the other roads. Lakeview boulevard's currently under water. There are other streets, but that's the two major streets that people notice right away because those are kind of major routes in Albert Lea," said police lieutenant Darren Hanson.

There's no indication that any of the Albert Lea streets have suffered structural damage.

"When we have these events the lakes come up quickly but it's not like a flash flood," Albert Lea City Engineer Steve Jahnke told us.

“As soon as the flooding goes down and they have a chance to clean the road off the barricades will be removed," added Lt. Darren Hanson.

But until then:

“If you see water across the roads it's not worth going through it. You don't know what the current is, you don't know how deep it is. We've had a few vehicles that had to be towed out of the water. They tried to go around the barricades and into the water and didn't make it,” Lt. Darren Hanson said.

And if you're using a sump pump to help keep your basement dry:

"We don't want to see you have that sump pump just going down into your drain," city engineer Steve Jahnke told us. Pumping that water into the drain would just put more stress on the Albert Lea sewer system.

"Put it in the yards. You can certainly put it out in the street if you want to. Really, we're trying to get everything dried up right now, so it's okay to put it out so it's pumping into the street" Steve Jahnke explained.

And with the kind of rain we've had in the last few days -- "I've heard between three and four inches over a couple different rain storms," police lieutenant Darren Hanson said -- one thing you don't want is more rain.

"If it was a dry year, a three inch rain probably wouldn't have had near the impact of this last rain," city engineer Steve Jahnke said.

“I think the ground is overly saturated,” said police lieutenant Darren Hanson. “Any substantial rain is going to create more issues for us."