National Guard patrolling Zumbro Falls - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

National Guard patrolling Zumbro Falls


ZUMBRO FALLS/HAMMOND, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- The National Guard has been deployed around devastated Zumbro Falls, Minnesota, and residents are being kept a mile away from the flooded city.

One homeowner told KTTC NewsCenter that she was able to flee the floodwaters at 4 a.m. Friday, but hasn't been allowed back in since. 

Authorities are waiting for the floodwaters of the Zumbro River to recede, and they may allow people back to inspect the damage by mid-afternoon on Saturday. 

In Wabasha County, the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry of the Minnesota National Guard has 18 soldiers assisting law enforcement with traffic control and security, according to the State Emergency Operations Center.

All phone service and other utilities are down at Zumbro Falls, and local authorities are now scrambling to come up with plans for basic local services.

It's a natural disaster many say they were not expecting.

Zumbro Falls mayor Alan VanDeWalker says, "We were sandbagging and thought we could stop it but we just could not."

Officials predicted the water in Zumbro Falls would crest late Friday afternoon. Officials say it could take days to recede.

VanDeWalker says, "We're just waiting for the water to do go down so we can assess the damage."

But it's the recovery that will take much longer.

VanDeWalker says, "If we can get people back in their homes by winter we'll be lucky."

Just downstream, Hammond also sits underwater. Evacuations sent residents outside of their towns and now many no longer have homes to return to.

Katie Shones, Hammond resident, says, "I'm not sure if people will rebuild."

Nina Bush, Hammond resident, says, "People were just getting what they could and leaving."

Leaving many residents wondering what's next.

Bush says, "I've lost everything except my car, my daughter and granddaughter."

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