Runoff pounds campground

FORT RIDGELY STATE PARK-Fort Ridgely Creek was a shallow, slow-moving body of water meandering through the state park campground until many rounds of recent heavy rainfall turned it into a raging torrent of white water.

On Thursday, the Fort Ridgely State Park campground was covered with about a foot of water that gouged out a gravel road and left huge amounts of sediment in its wake.

On Friday, the creek was back in its banks but moving at a high rate of speed. State park personnel evaluated the storm damage before closing the upper and lower campgrounds, horse campground and park trails.

“The campground road was higher than the grass until this storm washed it out,” said state park golf course technician Arlyn Boddy. “The campsites are full of sediment. We’ve got lots of work to do.”

A large part of the state park including the golf course and chalet and historic site remain open. Assistant Park Manager Joanne Svendsen was not sure just when the campground and trails would reopen.

The park’s newly-updated, Par 35, 9-hole course features scenic vistas, wildlife and wildflowers in natural areas. Historic site grounds are open for self-guided tours daily. The museum is open Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reported the Upper Sioux Agency State Park campground near Granite Falls was closed Friday. Two state parks are completely closed-Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne and Franz Jevne State Park on the Canadian border. For more information, visit www.mndnr.gov

The Nicollet County Emergency Management office asked residents and business owners who experienced any recent storm damage including flooded basements and corp damage, to complete a survey and attach photos and any other documentation by visiting a county website link at www.co.nicollet.mn.us For more information, call the county emergency management office at 507-934-7874 or 934-7872.

Renville County reported six county parks closed due to flooding Friday-Anderson Lake, Beaver Falls, Birch Coulee, Mack Lake, Skalbekken and Vicksburg County Parks.

The Mankato Office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation advised no unnecessary travel in areas of recent flooding in south central Minnesota. Closed highways include State Highway 19 a mile west of Gaylord and long-term closures of Highways 19 and 93 from Henderson to Highway 169.

Highways with restrictions or water over the roadway included Highway 169 from St. Peter to Le Sueur where a temporary sand dike caused closure of the outside northbound lane.

Highways recently opened are Highway 22 in Gaylord and from St. Peter to Mankato. Highways being monitored with possible weekend closure are Highway 22 south at St. Peter over the Minnesota River, Highway 93 from Highway 169 to Le Sueur, Highway 99 east at St. Peter near the Minnesota River bridge and Highway 169 from St. Peter to Mankato.

Statewide flood closures can be found at www.dot.state.mn.us/flood/. Motorists are advised to check wwww.511mn.org before traveling for road conditions, closures and detour routes. For more updates, “like” MnDOT at www.facebook.com/mndot and follow @mndotscentral on Twitter District 7 Twitter can be followed at twitter.com/mndotscentral

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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