2020 Spring Flooding

Posted By: Emergency Management,

Current soil & moisture conditions throughout the county, along with outlooks of continued above normal precipitation, suggest flooding conditions throughout the region this spring are more likely than a typical year. (National Weather Service: Current Spring 2020 Flood Outlooks)

Am I At Risk For Flooding?

Flooding can happen anywhere, at any time, and is the most common and costly natural disaster in Otter Tail County, affecting properties in and out of high-risk areas. While every lake, river, and stream has a geographic floodplain, these areas of the county are not designated “flood zones” and are not mapped or rated for flood risk.

All residents should consider their experience in years past (2001, 2009, and 2011 in particular) and talk with neighbors if you are unfamiliar with the area. Remember – conditions can change! Areas that have not flooded in the past may flood in the future.

Flood Insurance

Just 1 inch of water can cause $25,000 of damage to your home – and most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. As a result, residents should consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Anyone who lives in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can buy flood insurance. (Does my community participate in the NFIP?)

Policies can be purchased to cover damages to the structure as well as contents, but must be in place for 30 days prior to an incident. Contact your local insurance agent or visit FEMA FloodSmart or MN DNR: Flood Insurance for more details.

Septic System Protection

Septic Systems and Floods
Septic Systems After a Flood

Fuel Oil Tank Preparation

Preparation for Indoor and Outdoor Tanks

Private Wells

Precautions for Private Water Wells
Flooded Well Tips
Disinfecting Flooded Private Water Wells


Residents may obtain sand, sandbags, and poly plastic at the Fergus Falls, Battle Lake, and New York Mills Highway Garages by appointment only.

Video: How to Fill & Place Sandbags
Fact Sheet: Sandbagging for Flood Protection

Sand Bags: $.20 each.
Residents wishing to buy their sandbags elsewhere may purchase them through local retailers, including Locators and Supplies in Fergus Falls. Residents will be responsible for proper disposal of sand and bags following flood conditions.

Sand: Sand is FREE. Residents wishing to fill their sandbags on site should come prepared with shovels and appropriate protective clothing/equipment.

Poly plastic: $52.00/roll.

Flooding on County Roadways

Visit the county road conditions page for current county roads that are experiencing flooding.


For Questions, Contact:

Emergency Management218-998-8067
Land & Resources218-998-8095
Highway Department218-998-8470


Related Groups

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Posted By: Emergency Management,

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