Freeborn County Commissioners issue disaster declaration after flash flooding

(ABC 6 News) – Freeborn County Commissioners issued a disaster declaration Tuesday as people recover from last week’s severe flash flooding.

Alden resident Dan Hensche is starting to rebuild. The Hensche’s lost everything in their basement after flood waters broke through their downstairs window. In as little as 20 minutes, the family had 40 inches of water in their basement.

Dan says most of his belongings are replaceable, but he still faces a large financial burden because he, like many others in Alden, doesn’t have flood insurance.

"Insurance did not cover anything. It’s all going to be out of pocket," he said.

They’re left to shoulder the cost on their own, or get help from the community.

"Three homes had basements collapse, and then we have several others that had a lot of damage in the basement," said Rich Hall, the Emergency Management Director of Freeborn County.

Flooding caused around $230,000 in damages to city and county roads and other infrastructure. An emergency declaration means that the state will have to pay for 75 percent of the cost for city and county repairs, leaving the county to pay for the rest.

The last time they had to declare an emergency was the December tornado that tore through Hartland.

"It’s usually more rare than that, but recently it seems like we’ve had a few more events," Hall said.

Meanwhile, the Hensche’s have months of rebuilding to do. But they do feel they’ve got help from the community.

"You just couldn’t plan for it. Unexpected. Every part of it was unexpected."

The Hensche’s have a Gofundme page here.