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Rush Creek, Levy, & Creekside Park


Flood of August 18-19 2007 17” of rain in 24 hrs + 7” in days preceding 

Over 50% of city covered with 4-6 ft of “water”



490 of 766 homes and businesses received substantial flood damage



79 structures (mostly homes) red-tagged as totally destroyed.



463 of 600 local jobs negatively impacted



300 private unsealed wells contaminated



Both of city’s major potable wells rendered unusable



WWTP overrun by 6 feet brackish flood water



Levee system compromised….



Only one fully destructive residential fire



No fatalities!


The Immediate Challenges on August 19, 2007, included" No

viable communications—except for law enforcement’s radio system! No operational sewer system! No fresh water system! No electricity in most of the city! No basic services—such as fuel, food, drink, room, etc.! None of this, none of that—the facts were fairly consistent and depressing!


The Initial Response…  Communicate as best as possible—bulletin boards,

scheduled public announcements by mayor, etc.  Remain fully committed to an ultimate recovery  Maintain a spirit of “not giving up”  Accept help when and where offered  Follow the NIMS concepts and Rushford’s Emergency Management Plan  Maintain complete faith in our emergency management team—know your NIMS! 

The flooding happened fast “we went from talking about sandbagging to evacuating people in a two-minute time frame” (a local authority)


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Rushford’s Story – In Cubic Feet Per Second According to the U.S. Army Corps of Eng. Existing 100-year flood flow = 16,200 CFS Existing levee plus freeboard = 22,500 CFS Existing 500-year flood flow = 35,400 CFS Estimated 2007 flood flow = 39,500 CFS


Day #1 - Status of the City’s Public Infrastructure & Property Water system – totally polluted & unsafe Waste water system – totally inoperable utility Storm water collection system – plugged

everywhere Electric utility system – 70% shut-down initially Levee system – inoperable pumps & overrun City buildings – only City Hall/Library remained operational Parks and recreation spaces – damaged & unusable


Immediate Impact and Issues with Residents Rapid growth of mold Little or no homeowner’s insurance Loss of personal property & treasures Limited and inadequate housing options Limited ability to cook or clean Constant fear of disease and germs Shortened patience with the system


Impact to Public Infrastructure  Waste Water Utility

= $9,047,407  Water Utility = $272,724  Streets & Parks = $774,350  City Buildings/Equipment = $1,317,517  Police/Fire/Ambulance = $1,284,983  Debris Removal = $1,766,974  Assistance = $1,500,000  TOTAL CITY COST = $15,963,956


Community Impact Included‌ Residential losses = ($35M)

Business losses = ($20M)

Public infrastructure loss = ($16M)

Student population loss in the R-P Schools


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HOUSING


  





   

133 total dwelling units in jeopardy − 8 units remain open or unknown 66 FEMA Trailers in city limits; all removed in 18 mos. 59 house demo permits issued − 44 homes rebuilt; 8 spots purchased by neighbor or other uses 37 trailer court demos − 2 new homes on revamped site (new owners) − Conditional Use Permit for campers/trailers 12 unit apt. building demolished − Newly constructed 6 units by SEMCAC; low-income family housing 16 unit apt. building repaired 8 unit apt. repaired 4 unit apt. building-replaced with Habitat for Humanity Duplex Shortage of modern single-family dwellings…have not kept pace with comprehensive plan outline.


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One of many shipments of supplies from Hearts & Hands Alliance


Business Recovery


80 - businesses received recovery loans through State of MN totaling $17 mil.  Tireless efforts by many to reopen businesses as fast as possible to provide, jobs, groceries, gas, hardware and health care.  Tri-County Electric Co-op moves to City of Rushford Village.  Owners of rental properties learn in dismay, not classified as a “business� in qualifying for assistance.  EDA working with new local start-up businesses by granting development loans  9 new businesses in operation since August 07 


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 My

Pictures\2010_10_05


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WATERSHED & LEVEE SYSTEM


RushPine Watershed Conservancy initiated covering 136 sq miles - 2009  Coordinator hired with grant dollars; operating through SWD Winona County2010-2011  DNR Flood Mitigation Grant funding for levee prep work in recertification/restoration process. (2010)  1.2mil. bond issue from state for levee work. Max city obligation is $630,000. Completed summer 2012. 


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City Equipment; Utilities; Well & Water Treatment Facilities


$1.2 mil received through insurance for lost city property, equipment and vehicles  Well # 3 closed because of contamination.  300 + sand points/private wells sealed  New well drilled (#5) built next to new water treatment facility on North end (above flood path)  Engineering firm worked on Municipal Improvement Project for 2011 (undersized/old water & sewer mains, streets and curb/gutter). Funding â&#x20AC;&#x201C; PFA, FEMA, user fees.  $300,000 project for for downtown underground utilities upgrade. Hazard Mitigation Grant (FEMA @ 75%) in combination with Brownsfield Grant (DEED). City paid 25% of project. (2011 - council voted to return DEED grant which included <$16,000>for this upgrade.) 


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Realities in 2008 



  

 

Minnesota Design Team donates a “visit” to help community envision our future. Farmer’s Market- new vendors; located on HWY 43 on city owned lot. Museum refurbished and improved. Process started for levee recertification… Trailer park bought by local entrepreneurs. New infrastructure. Alternate use given for public camping site in parts of park. Downtown businesses up and running! Committee established to revamp trailhead, trail access, and destination points in town.


Parks, Trails & Tourism Creekside Park  Careful evaluation of Creekside Park playground area reveals need to replace structure. New design adopted, and through fundraising efforts, community builds new structure in 5 days!  Ribbon cutting May 2009.


Project Realities 2009 –2011           

Town Meeting Initiative (SMIF grant) awarded for trail improvements/signage - 2009 Trails N’ Tourism non-profit created to blend project ideas from MDT & TMI…in attempt to keep process/ideas alive – 2010. MN Legacy Grant for $175,000 awarded & $125,000 in federal dollars extending trails, circling the city using levee tops (2011- phase 1) Plans underway for new library , motel, community center, with 400 seat capacity . USDA Rural Development Loan and Grant for 2.4 mil awarded for new library/city hall facility. (2010) Land donated to city for trail use projects – 2011 2.5 miles new hiking trails on bluff (city park) 2010 New canoe launch & primitive campsites proposed adjacent to Legacy Trails starting point…working with DNR R-P HS staff energizing youth development/leadership projects. New facility studies underway by school district – 2010, 2011 Rushford Community Foundation offers grant to Area Chamber of Commerce for hiring part-time coordinator – 2010


Post Flood Recovery 2012              

Bike trail extension completed - $300,000 state and fed grants New 6 unit T-hanger @ airport- $500,000; 95% FAA grant Levee improvements completed – $2.3 mil. City share $630,360. Rehab downtown elec. to underground – 75 % FEMA grant Wastewater Plant rehab $1.5 mil – PFA loan, PFA/FEMA grants Wastewater pump replacements - $39,000 PFA grant Municipal improvements : replace water/sanitary/storm mains & streets. $3,915,000 in two G.O. Bonds, PFA loans, assessments, levy and user fees. New water treatment facility $1.2 mil. – PFA loan New Community Center/motel project abandoned by council Municipal liquor store built with $897,000 FEMA funds, closed by council vote. Equipment sold. Use uncertain New library project blocked by city council. USDA, FEMA and DEED funding abandoned. School district continues to seek funding for new building. RushPine Watershed Conservancy progress stalled: leadership/funding issues <$41,000,000> into community from state, federal, donations.


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Proposed canoe launch/primitive camp site.


The 2007 Flood Event taught several lessons: lessons Retain faith that you will prevail in the end,

regardless of the difficulties. And at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be. (J. Collins Good to Great, p.86) Encourage the city staff to complete NIMS

training! Know and network within your watershed district area and congressional districts! Live in gratitude. Inner strength and deep faith were foundation.


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Working in the “New Normal” MnWARN established- collaborative efforts between WWOA, Dept of Health (MPCA), City of Rushford, & assisted by Rural Water with lessons learned in Rushford flood. “to enhance the recovery of utility systems from natural and declared disasters.”


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Positive Outcome Makers •

Right people with the necessary skills, worked together as a team. – Tireless efforts by city staff to get things “back to normal” – Thousands of outside volunteers, coordinated through management system for clean-up help. – 55,000 donated meals served in Montini Hall@ St Joseph’s Church – RADAR (Rushford Area Disaster Alliance for Recovery) established as a nonprofit entity to handle donations – Case management system established for home and business assistance. (SEMCAC, SEMDC, Pettipiece and Assoc.) – Social Service providers as resource to information for help – DNR, BDM Consulting Engineers , Otomo Engineering, Barr Engineering, Fillmore County Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Dept of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), MN Dept. of Agriculture, MN Dept of Health, MNRG, MMUA, USGS, MN Dept of Commerce and Industry, MRWA (Minnesota Rural Water), MN Public Facilities Authority (PFA), MN Housing Authority, many MN municipalities, MnDOT, Fillmore CO., LMC, CGMC, Red Cross, National Guard, FEMA, MN elected officials, Minnesota Design Team, Hearts & Hands Alliance, all area churches, and many others.


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Sharing a “look-a-like” day with one of favorite FEMA reps


5 Years Progress  

A report of the progress that has been made in Rushford, Minnesota, since the flood of 2007.

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