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Randall area residents, business receive disaster recovery checks

More support needed as homeowners, nonprofits, businesses work on long recovery process

Flooding in Randall after rainfall
A house in Randall is flooded Friday, June 24, 2022, after 12.3 inches of rain fell in the city Thursday night. The Little Elk River, which runs through the city, topped its banks, causing flooding in the area.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch
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RANDALL — Disaster recovery checks are going out during the next two weeks to 32 Randall-area homeowners and two nonprofits hit hard by a June 23-24 storm that dropped more than a foot of rain and caused the Little Elk River to overflow its banks.

In total, $83,500 is being distributed by the Randall Area Flood Recovery Task Force and St. James Catholic Church thanks to individual, corporate and nonprofit donations to the Initiative Foundation-hosted Randall Area Flood Recovery Fund , the Initiative Foundation reported in a news release. Another $10,000 supported by a grant from Compeer Financial is being distributed to two local businesses, Boone's Market and OK Tire & Bait.

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Those who were displaced from their homes may apply for grants to cover mortgage payments, rent or other expenses.
"One of the old things we used to say is the lake is not a bathtub, it doesn't just lay at one level," said Pete Boulay, a climatologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "What I always point out, when people complain that (water levels) have never been this low, just go back farther and you'll find lower water than you have right now."
Rivers across the region were expected to crest on Friday and throughout the weekend, while a risk of more dangerous flash flooding remained possible again throughout the day, the weather service said.
Officials warn the process could take months and more financial support is needed.
After peaking at a record high level in mid-June, the water has dropped nearly 2 feet. The National Weather Service predicts the lake will drop by nearly another foot by Friday, July 15.
St. Louis County's flood response is moving into “recovery mode."
Businesses like Boone’s Market grocery store and community gathering places like St. James Catholic Church provided food and water to needy residents. Morrison County Sheriff Shawn Larsen said a man stopped by the Randall Fire Hall to offer a donation to support ongoing relief.
Earlier this month the flooding broke the lake's all-time record set in 1950, and it's only come down a few inches since.
The Mississippi River flows through Aitkin and Crow Wing counties, historically providing a means to transport goods but also is used for outdoor recreation in more recent times. The Mighty Mississippi has also flooded in years past, causing headaches and destruction.
It’s a mess, the result of a late snowmelt after a winter of heavy snow in the border country and record or near-record precipitation the past two months across the watershed.
Flooding near Oslo, Minnesota, has destroyed agricultural land, washed out their township roads and caused thousands of dollars of damage to a railroad line that carries cars filled with wheat to the West Coast and southern United States.
The Rainy River watershed is overflowing from Lake Vermilion to Lake of the Woods, with flood records possible.
Ranier residents sandbagging homes and cabins as lakes and rivers flood over their banks.
Breaking News
Strong to severe storms are likely this evening, starting in southwestern Minnesota, then spreading northeast across much of central and eastern Minnesota into western Wisconsin. Damaging wind gusts and large hail are the primary threats, though a few tornadoes cannot be ruled out.
West-central Minnesota was pounded by rain during intense thunderstorms Wednesday and Thursday, leading to flooded streets, basements, fields and parks.
“The rain events that used to occur every 50 or 100 hears are now happening every 10 years or even more frequently,” said Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner Katrina Kessler. “It’s not just once in your lifetime, it’s three or more times in one decade that you’re having to think about impacts on local resources as well as infrastructure and homes.”
Lee Britt, a weather service meteorologist in Duluth, said rain was expected to begin Thursday afternoon, April 28, followed by a slow-moving low-pressure system creeping into the area Friday.

A smaller round of financial relief is expected in the coming weeks as donations continue to be received. More support is needed, the Initiative Foundation reported, to make a meaningful difference and to help homeowners and business owners recover from what was deemed a 500-year rain event by the National Weather Service. A 500-year event means it has a 0.2% chance of occurring based on historical records.

People can support Randall-area flood recovery at givemn.org/Randall-Flood or by making an in-person donation at Randall State Bank. All donations are tax-deductible. This fundraising effort is supported by the Morrison County Area Foundation , a partner fund hosted by the Initiative Foundation. The Initiative Foundation and its partners continue to look for sources of funding to support the community in what will be a long road to recovery.

“The financial need in Randall is really high for these folks to get their lives back on track,” said Matt Pantzke, Randall city administrator, who shared that many homeowners were without flood insurance or unable to secure it. “We have many homes with significant structural and personal property damage, along with a lot of heating devices and appliances — furnaces, water heaters, washers, dryers.”

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According to a Federal Emergency Management Agency cost estimate, a 1,000-square-foot home flooded with 12 inches of standing water will require nearly $30,000 to repair, restore and to replace damaged property. That number jumps to more than $70,000 for a 2,500-square-foot home. With dozens of homes affected, plus several businesses , costs in the Randall area could exceed $2 million.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at www.brainerddispatch.com. News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
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