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Rochester flooding: then, now, and prevention

KIMT takes a look at flood prevention measures in place now that weren't there during the Med City's most notorious flood.

Posted: Jul 9, 2019 7:35 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester has experienced historic flooding in the last few weeks, but the flood of 1978 is the worst flood in the city's history. July 5th 2019 marks the 41st anniversary of the flood.

According to Rochester Public Works, there was no flood prevention measures in place when the 1978 flood hit. Now, there are seven reservoirs and a flood control channel to manage large amounts of water. The flood control program is built to withstand a flood the size of the one in 1978. "If we start getting rains that are bigger than that, events that are bigger than that, we will be pushing the limits of our system but what we can do now is make sure that we're keeping things maintained so that they do function the way we need them to," says Megan Moeller, communications coordinator for Rochester Public Works.

Mike Rossi owns Rossi Auto Body. He bought the building in 1988, 10 years after it was submerged during the big flood. He tells KIMT the first few years of owning the building, he got nervous when the river got high, but he now feels confident in the city's anti-flooding infrastructure. "You can watch the river rise and lower," he says. "Whatever they've got going on, it's working."

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