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New Richland Flooding

Flooding in New Richland – A Reoccurring Event

In September of 2010, the City of New Richland experienced a 100-year precipitation event, which each year has a 1% likelihood of taking place. This event caused adverse impacts to local infrastructure, including businesses such as Trapper’s Lanes, Morgan’s Meat Market, Midwest Repairable, Thompson’s Auto Body and New Richland Auto. In addition, the flood extent forced the New Richland Care Center to be evacuated.


September 24, 2010 - Park located across from the train tracks directly north of the Aspen Ave S and 2nd St SE intersection shown as flooded.

September 24, 2010 – New Richland Care Center shown as flooded. Residents were evacuated.


In June of 2015, roughly 3 inches of rain fell in 3 hours, which was classified as a 10-year precipitation event for the New Richland area, and the capacities of Joint County Ditch 6 and County Ditch 47 were again put to the test. With the memory of the 2010 event still fresh in area residents’ minds, and the understanding that changing precipitation patterns have resulted in a greater occurrence of storms with increased severities, this event brought to the community’s attention the need to address the area’s flooding potential.


June 24, 2015 – Photo looking west from HWY 13. Drive to New Richland Area Sportsmen’s Club seen in the foreground. Ball fields shown as flooded and waters narrowly avoid autos parked at Midwest Repairables.


In September of 2016, the City of New Richland again experienced a 100-year precipitation event, with 8 inches of rain falling over a 48-hour period. Forty-four residents in the New Richland Care Center were evacuated. Thompson's Auto Body was forced to relocate many vehicles and pieces of equipment offsite, and sandbags were seen surrounding Trappers Lanes and Morgan's Meat Market. Midwest Repairables was underwater, and a culvert located underneath the railroad tracks at the junction of Aspen Ave S and 2nd ST SE was blown out. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Public School was seen pumping water from inside of the school.


September 22, 2016 – Standing on County Road 12 looking north at Thompson’s Auto Body.

September 22, 2016 – Floodwaters meet the New Richland Care Center. Area residents work to sandbag the facility in hopes of reducing flood impacts to the building.

September 22, 2016 – Photo on left standing on railroad tracks looking south towards 2nd Street SE. Culvert shown as blown out. Photo on right standing on railroad tracks looking west towards Broadway Ave S. Area park shown as flooded.

September 22, 2016 – Photo on left looking east towards 2nd St SW. NRHEG Public School seen on right side of floodwaters. Photo on right shows water being pumped from inside of the public school.

Community Action Towards Flood Reduction Solutions

In July of 2015, Commissioner Jim Peterson approached Planning and Zoning staff to raise concern about the New Richland flooding. Over the 2015 fall and winter months, a partnership was created between Waseca County, Waseca Soil and Water Conservation District, the City of New Richland, and the Le Sueur River Watershed Network with the intent of working towards solutions for flood reduction within and surrounding the City of New Richland. 

February 16, 2016 Community Meeting – On February 16, nearly 60 area stakeholders gathered at the New Richland City Hall to assist in defining flood extent and impacted areas of past events, as well as to contribute to the conversation about where priorities should be placed when evaluating flood mitigation options. The meeting was headlined by an introduction to members of the Le Sueur River Watershed Network and a short discussion of their “Seven Steps Towards Cleaner Water and River Health”, as well as a history of the New Richland area by a County Commissioner and Planning and Zoning staff. At the meeting, both small and large group discussions took place to identify local concerns, and to determine the next steps in working towards mitigation solutions. Copies of the meeting agenda, flyer, and minutes can be found below. 

February 16, 2016 Community Meeting Agenda

February 16, 2016 Community Meeting Flyer

February 16, 2016 Community Meeting Notes

April 20, 2016 Community Meeting – On April 20, area stakeholders again gathered at the New Richland City Hall. At this meeting, citizens had the opportunity to pour over maps of historical imagery dating back to the 1940’s, as well as maps defining physical characteristics including soil type and flow path elevations, to aid in the discussion of identifying potential flood management options. In addition, stakeholders were informed of answers to questions asked at the February meeting, and roles of staff and citizen members moving forward were further defined. Important outcomes of the meeting included 1) the requirement to conduct an engineering feasibility study in order to identify potential management areas within the watershed; 2) the identification of potential funding options for conducting a feasibility study; and 3) participants stepped forward in order to serve on an advisory board for making informed decisions.


April 20, 2016 Community Meeting Agenda

April 20, 2016 Community Meeting Flyer

April 20, 2016 Community Meeting Notes DRAFT



JC6, CD47 & City of New Richland Advisory Board


The Advisory Board is composed of six area residents, and is supported by members of the Le Sueur River Watershed Network Steering Committee, as well as Waseca County and Waseca Soil and Water Conservation District staff. The Board acts as an agent in leading the effort to define local management options that are feasible and sustainable.

August 24, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting – On August 24, the Advisory Board convened for the first time at the New Richland Area Sportsmen’s Club. At this meeting, the purpose of the Board was defined, and the Board discussed action items for the 2016 fall and winter seasons. In addition, there was consensus that development and posting of a series of informational articles in the local newspaper, the New Richland Star Eagle, describing updates and management strategies in other communities with similar flooding concerns would benefit the community. The agenda to the meeting, meeting minutes, and the first article to be published in the New Richland Star Eagle can be found below.


August 24, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting Agenda


August 24, 2016 Advisory Board Meeting Minutes IN DEVELOPMENT

New Richland Star Eagle Article WILL BE PUBLISHED 10.20.16