by Dennis Dalman – email@example.com
It’s better to be safe (and prepared) than sorry.
That’s the advice from Sartell Police Chief Jim Hughes about the possibility of flooding in Sartell this spring.
Wet soil, combined with a very heavy snowfall, could lead to flooding.
“The City of Sartell will do its best to be ready, and we hope you too can prepare for potential flooding so any damage can be minimized,” Hughes said in a statement.
Those who think flooding is a remote possibility obviously did not live in Sartell after the winter of 1965 when spring floods inundated many areas of the city. In recent years, the city has experienced minor flooding. Sartell has updated its emergency-response plan and has enhanced working relationships with neighboring cities, along with Stearns and Benton County Emergency Management, Hughes noted.
Hughes said he hopes all residents will review – and heed if necessary – the following tips:
1. Contact your insurance company about purchasing flood insurance. That type of insurance does not become effective until 30 days after the date of purchase.
2. If possible, have sandbagging equipment and supplies ready.
3. If your home may need sandbagging, you will also need a pump to remove water that will seep in.
4. Organize volunteers now who can help sandbag your house.
5. Locate alternative storage for valuables.
6. If you have a basement, remove or relocate all paints, solvents, fuel-oil tanks or other contaminants.
7. If necessary, plan another location in which to stay if your home is damaged.
8. Know how to shut off the main power breaker, main gas supply and main water valve.
9. Be aware if your home does sustain flood damage, the city building inspector will conduct a damage assessment, which could include exterior and/or interior. The report will determine if the home is habitable or not.
In the event of flooding, Hughes said, the City of Sartell will assist, if needed, in organizing volunteers to help with sandbagging. The city will make available for purchase the bags, sand and delivery of the items when available. Sand must be placed on the property of the property/homeowner, not in a street or alley. However, the city cannot guarantee there will be enough supplies or volunteers, Hughes said, adding “that is why personal preparedness is so important.”
There will be updates about flooding on the Sartell City website at www.sartellmn.com.
Anyone with questions should call Hughes, who is the also the emergency management director, at 320-251-8186 or Butch Rieland, deputy emergency management director and fire marshal, at 320-253-2171. Another good resource to check is the Stearns County Emergency Management website at www.co.stearns.mn.us/LawPublicSafety/Emergency Services/Flooding.