Weather Forecast


Wadena extends water conservation request; governor to visit Monday

The M State Wadena parking lot and several acres of park land throughout southwest Wadena turned into lakes Friday after 4.35 inches of rain fell in the early morning hours. Residents have been asked to conserve water to reduce the burden on the city's storm sewer system.

The city of Wadena is asking businesses and residents to continue to conserve water for another 24 hours to reduce the burden on the storm sewer system, strained from Friday morning's extreme rain event.

The Wadena County Sheriff's Office issued the request through a non-emergency CodeRED alert issued Saturday morning. It sent out the initial advisory Friday during the noon hour following the major rain event - 4.35 inches fell within a few hours early in the morning. 

The M State parking lot and acres of park land on the city's southwest side turned into a lake Friday, while water infiltrated dozens of basements in that part of the city. Throughout the day, a steady stream of residents called - and stopped by - city hall to report damage from the storm sewer backup, including Mary Ayers, who had just picked up a second pump at the hardware store to remove the eight inches of water from her basement. 

Her initial pump wasn't able to handle the job, Ayers said. "(Water) just keeps coming up from the sewer." 

Basements were reportedly flooded in other nearby communities, including New York Mills, Hewitt and Verndale.

Mayor Wayne Wolden said Gov. Mark Dayton will visit Wadena some time Monday on a tour of storm damage in central Minnesota.

In the Saturday message, the sheriff's office said the city's water is safe to drink.