Flooding News Roundup: Special Legislative Session Comes into View

Minnesota lawmakers, who adjourned last month, are now urgently calling for a special legislative session to address the devastating impact of rising floodwaters. As residents, businesses, and infrastructure managers grapple with the aftermath, the state faces a critical situation. Let’s delve into the details.

The Flood Crisis Unfolds

A Cook resident wades through floodwaters on River Street, a poignant image that captures the severity of the situation. The destruction caused by the relentless floods has prompted lawmakers to take action. State Sen. Grant Hauschild, representing a northeast swing district hit hard by recent floods, emphasizes the need for a focused special session. The goal? Disaster recovery and an infrastructure bill.

Minnesota flood

The Rapidan Dam Saga

Spectacular yet alarming images emerge as the Rapidan Dam near Mankato faces partial failure. The century-old dam’s west bank has washed out, along with nearby buildings. Construction materials and trees now drift downstream, while the Blue Earth River continues to rise after heavy rains. Emergency management director Eric Weller warns that the dam could fail entirely, adding urgency to the situation.

Personal Stories of Resilience

Theresa Drift, a local homeless advocate, shares her heartbreaking experience. Initially, minor rainwater seeped into her basement, but suddenly, three to four feet of sewage inundated her home. “I work with homeless people, and now I’m homeless,” Drift tearfully tells Governor Tim Walz during a tour of the Iron Range, another flood-affected area. Former state Sen. Tom Bakk, who witnessed the 1970 flood, notes that this level of water hasn’t been seen since then.

The Statewide Impact

Governor Walz warns that the damage across Minnesota rivals the 1997 Red River flooding that devastated cities along the Minnesota-North Dakota border. As lawmakers consider returning to St. Paul for a special session, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy remain silent. Special sessions can be politically tricky, but the urgency of the situation demands action.


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