On July 12th, 2015 Central Minnesota was hit with a massive thunderstorm with hurricane force winds. The storm caused millions of dollars of damage to buildings and trees, including 3 of the largest resorts in the area, Madden’s Resort, Cragun’s Resort and Grand View Lodge. Some of the golf courses owned by these resorts were closed for weeks for tree cleanup. Madden’s Resort was hit the worst with several large building destroyed. They rebuilt these buildings and had them open for Memorial Day weekend in 2016.
On the anniversary of that storm, the same area was hit with a huge rain event. Brainerd, MN, which is just 30 miles east of Staples, was hit with 8.78 inches of rain between the night of July 10th, and the early morning of July 12th. Brainerd only averages 7.66 inches of rain during the months of May and June combined! That is the most rain in that short of a period of time since records started being kept in 1908. There were locations nearby that had over 10”. The Staples area had 6 to 8 inches, depending on where you were located.
The only way that the company was affected was that the employee parking lot and loading docks were flooded.
Here are some highlights from the storm.
The storm dumped six inches of rain or more over a 2,000 square mile area!
The Bad River near Ondanah, Wisconsin broke its record high flood mark when it hit 27.28 feet. The previous record was 22.2 feet.
One of the hardest hit areas was Fish Lake, where the water was rising three inches per hour.
In Moose Lake, a half million gallons of untreated sewage poured into Moosehead Lake when their sewer system became inundated with flood waters.
On Wednesday, July 11th, Willow River issued a voluntary evacuation order, when high water flowed over the top of the town’s dam.
The Snake River, near the City of Mora, raised from 3 feet to 16 feet in one day.
It was reported in Aitkin County, where one of our facilities is located, that based on the amount of rain in a short time, that it is a 500 year storm. In fact, the National Park Service called it a thousand year flood! The Brainerd Daily Dispatch called it an 800 year storm, so you can see that everyone thought it was impressive!
The worst part of this disaster is that at least three people were killed in northwest Wisconsin.
Here is some video of the flooding in the Fish Lake area: http://www.kare11.com/news/local/fish-lake-aerials-of-flooding-in-mora/272038471