Luverne Hit Hard With Water
by Betsy Jibben, Reporter
June 15, 2014 5:47 PM
Saturday night’s heavy rain hit parts of South Dakota and Minnesota hard. Officials were forced to close down all four lanes of Interstate 90 from Luverne to the South Dakota border.
"I've lived here a good 79 years of my life and I guess this is the first time I've seen the water run over the interstate like this," said Luverne resident, Mel Hamann.
Most of Interstate 90 was opened Sunday afternoon, but next to the Freeway, sits a big mess.
"There is just so much water, it would not stop raining last (Saturday) night," said Luverne resident, Kayla Evers.
This is an area east of the Luverne exit. What used to be grass and a small creek,
has turned into a lake.
"It's going over the interstate and I'm sure the road I normally take to get home is underwater," said Hamann.
In town of Luverne, even more water. There,it's estimated that four inches of rain fell in in the last 48 hours.
"I went along with a friend and looked all over. It's sad we have all this rain," said Evers.
But what took the hardest hit: Blue Mounds State Park, north of Luverne.
Park Ranger Thomas Sawtelle says the park received anywhere from 6 to 9 inches of rain. The heavy rain washed away the spillway at the park. The dam holds back water for a swimming pond in the park.
"Our fishing dock was lifted and is against the face of the dam. Water went around the spillway instead. The spillway was a little old so it washed out the spillway," said Sawtelle.
The water drains into Rock River, which flows into Luverne. Rock River usually flows at seven feet, now it's over 20.
"The spillway is supposed to handle water coming over it but I guess it was bad enough shape, water went through it," said Sawtelle.
Sawtelle says he expects the beach will be closed for the rest of the summer. An engineer will look at the spillway later this week.
The Park Ranger at Blue Mounds State Park say they're also trying to repair part of a fence that fell due to the rain. It hold hundreds of bison across a 500 acre area.