Weather Forecast


Rain floods low-lying Willmar areas; no power outage

WILLMAR -- Heavy rainfall from a severe storm caused temporary flooding at low-lying intersections in Willmar Sunday night, said City Public Works Superintendent Ron Gilbertson. He said four Public Works Department employees placed cones at about 15 areas in town that collect more rain than other areas.

The employees said they received between 3½ and 4 inches of rain in their rain gauges.

"I know we got a lot of rain,'' Gilbertson said.

Once the rain slows down, the water is able to drain off and the system catches up pretty fast because conditions have been dry, said Gilbertson.

"If we get another heavy rain the next couple of nights, then it's a little different because all the ditches are full. Ditch 23A is pretty full,'' he said, referring to the main drainage outlet to the southeast.

Tree damage was limited. Gilbertson said one tree will need to be taken down and possibly another because of the storm.

"Overall for the number of trees we have, it wasn't too bad,'' he said.

There was no power outage in Willmar, said Larry Heinen, interim co-manager at Willmar Municipal Utilities.

Heinen said Willmar Utilities sent three linemen and two trucks to assist Grove City Municipal Utilities in making repairs to its system and to restore power to customers. Grove City is a member of Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association and requested mutual aid through the association.

MMUA sent out the request to member utilities and Willmar responded.

"Grove City has a relatively small utility, so that's a relatively small workforce and when they get damage it takes extra people I would assume to fix some things,'' said Heinen.

The City of Litchfield Public Utilities also responded and sent one truck and two linemen to Grove City, said Bruce Miller, Litchfield city administrator.

Miller said Litchfield lost all power from the grid at about 9:30 p.m., but the city has standby emergency diesel generators and was able over the course of about an hour to restore power to the entire city. Power from the outside was restored by about 12:30 a.m. today.

"Really, no real problems in Litchfield,'' said Miller.