Spring Flooding Preparations Underway

Posted On: February 14, 2020

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. However, significant flooding is not yet certain.

“There is still a lot we don’t know, and we continue to monitor, but the signs are there,” said Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County Emergency Manager, “And we’re not waiting to be ready.”

Officially kicking off on February 3, county officials are working to prepare for whatever comes by meeting with the National Weather Service, MN Department of Natural Resources, Farm Service Agency and other partners to look at conditions stretching back to summer 2019, along with perspectives on past years with similar conditions.

In addition to talking with experts about possible impacts, the County is also taking steps to ensure residents have information and resources at their fingertips to prepare themselves for potential impacts. A flooding specific webpage has been created on the county website with information about flood insurance, septic system protection, fuel oil tank preparation, sandbagging, and more flood-specific resources. In addition, a postcard is being sent out countywide to help direct residents to these resources.

As residents prepare for possible flooding, the county wishes to share the following important details:

  • Otter Tail County does not have flood zones or designated floodplains; your property may still be at risk for flooding.
  • Rivers throughout the county do not have a substantial history of flooding. As a result, flood stage predictions cannot be formulated such as exist on the Sheyenne and Red Rivers.
  • Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding; residents should consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Policies must be in place for 30 days prior to an incident. Contact your local insurance agent or visit floodsmart.gov for more details.
  • Please be aware of flooded roadways and “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” ®

Visit ottertailcountymn.us/flooding for the latest information and resources on this spring’s snowmelt and flood response and recovery operations.

For questions contact:

Emergency Management             218-998-8067

Land & Resource Management  218-998-8095

Highway Department                     218-998-8470

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