Henderson Mayor ‘optimistic’ for flood outlook

Minnesota River flowing at nearly full capacity
The mayor of Henderson says they're watching the river levels yet again as any flooding causes the town to get cut off.
Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 5:36 PM CDT
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Henderson, Minn. (KEYC) -Keith Swenson says the Minnesota River has to rise another 11 feet before any cause of concern.

Swenson said “We’re really optimistic that we’ve dodged the bullet. It was a slow melt, you know, They had the moderate temperatures the freezing, the fact that there’s no real frost in the ground and most of the melt is going down into the ground and being absorbed because it of the drought last year.”

It’s precarious, as any weather event upstream from Henderson will eventually work its way to town.

It takes 17 hours for river water to move downstream from Mankato to Henderson.

The main concern though isn’t over private property, but rather transportation.

Swenson said “thousands of dollars pour into town and if the waters blocking off the roads into town, we don’t get many visitors and it has an economic impact.”

It’s not just business; for students, a 4.5 mile trip to Le Sueur turns to 32 miles.

When that happens, both residents and experts say the rising water makes it too risky to brave the roads.

Meteorologist Joshua Eckl said “you never know the conditions of the road or the path that is under that water. That fast moving water could easily wash things out so you could be thinking you’re stepping in two inches of water and it could be feet of water, something over your head resulting in some drowning situations.”