Flooding Slowing Business in Fillmore County

Posted at: 06/24/2013 6:44 PM
Updated at: 06/24/2013 8:04 PM
By: Brittany Lewis

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- One of the hardest hit areas over the weekend was Fillmore County. Lanesboro was hit especially hard with nearly six inches of rain in three days.

The Root River is high and moving very fast. It’s caused some campgrounds to close, ball parks to flood, and it’s even hurting some businesses.

"Everything we do is getting washed out by the rain,” said C.D. Hanson an employee at Root River Outfitters.

A sign saying closed due to weather is posted on the front door at Root River Outfitters. Tubes sit untouched, new kayaks are still wrapped up.
Since Friday, Lanesboro has received nearly six inches of rain.

"It was up this step and flashing onto the fourth step,” said Hanson.

All that rain causing flooding, log jams, and fast moving water. None of that is good for business.

"Right now the waters moving too fast for anyone to go canoeing,” said Hanson.

Normally, by this time in the year, around 1,000 people have either canoed, kayaked or tubed. This year though, just 300 have.

"A whole year ago, we were having so many people going tubing everyday on the river and now we have virtually no one that can go on the river right now.” Said Hanson.

And how about swimming to first base? Lanesboro Ball Park is completely underwater and cleanup is underway. Sylvan Park also under water.

"Part of living in the part of the valley and this part of bluff land is that we have the beauty of the river, also the realities are, there are times when mother nature takes its course,” said Julie Kiene, Executive Director of Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce. She says while some businesses have been affected by the flooding, tourism overall is doing just fine.

"Lanesboro’s downtown business is downtown as usual,” said Kiene.

At Root River Outfitters, they’re counting down the days until they get back to usual.

"We're just waiting for some dry days so that we can send people on the river,” said Hanson.

Starting Tuesday, flood kits will be available for people in Fillmore County.

The kits include items like a bucket, mop, gloves, mask and garbage bags and will be free of charge for flood victims.

They can be picked up at either the Fillmore County Sheriff’s office in Preston or city hall in both Mabel and Lanesboro.