Flood fight continues in Kanabec County

A rainstorm similar to one two years ago flooded the Snake River.
Two years ago, a massive rainstorm caused the Snake River to overrun its banks. A similar rainstorm early Thursday morning caused flash floods that damaged basements and swamped cars.
Dan Kraker | MPR News

Sandbagging efforts continued in Kanabec County on Saturday, in the wake of torrential rainfall earlier in the week that caused flooding across the county.

More than a half-foot of rain fell in Mora and the surrounding area, causing the Snake River to crest at just over 15 feet. The high water that hit Mora now is moving south along the river. On Saturday, sandbagging efforts were focused on Fish Lake just south of Mora.

Flooding like this is nothing new for the county. Two years ago, heavy rain caused the Snake River to overflow its banks, flooding basements and businesses.

Now residents fighting the floodwaters once again. Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith helped rally volunteers to fill and place sandbags around the community. He said Saturday that the outpouring of support has been amazing, with residents showing up eager to lend a hand.

"They've been filling sandbags and loading sandbags and even going out into the field and helping sandbag people's houses," he said. "We've had community members show up with trucks and trailers willing to haul sandbags to locations because not everybody has the equipment to take care of themselves."

Across the county several roadways remain closed, damaged by the flooding or still underwater.

"There's a lot of infrastructure damage," Smith said. "We've got a lot of washouts. The county did an outstanding job of repairing, at least to the point to make passable, any road that was not underwater — but we've got new roads going under water this morning."

Some homeowners were forced to abandon their properties, while others were left stranded when the waters cut off access.

The flood-fighting efforts are getting a boost this weekend, with dry weather in the forecast.

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