|Ghent moves to protect residences|
By Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisher
In the face of potential flooding of residences, Ghent officials moved on Thursday to protect property owners.
Mayor Ron Sussner declared an emergency on Thursday morning. "That was the only thing to do because it gave us the chance to act on our own and get the job done," he said.
Backhoes were called out to pile dirt around the residences in the potential flooding area in an effort to act as a dike to keep the water out. D&G Excavating of Marshall was called in to dig a dike, or retaining wall from dirt around the north and east sections of the community.
Mayor Sussner and others were on the scene late Thursday as the dike was built around the community.
"It was the only thing we could do," he said. "Now that it's up, we'll see how the property owners like it and if they do we'll leave it up for awhile. We'll then go to work on a more permanent solution," Sussner said.
Ghent's newest addition is constantly threatened by excessive water and Thursday the problem worsened after rains Wednesday night and throughout Thursday.
"When water starts running, it runs fast right at you," the mayor said.
City officials originally called in sandbaggers and began that process. They secured several thousand sandbags from Marshall (six to seven thousand), called in volunteers and eventually put the sandbags around residences to protect them.
Many students from Minneota who volunteered were sent to Ghent to help the community with their serious situation.
"The corps of engineers was here," said Sussner. But, by declaring the emergency, he was able to get the dike built without extra government red tape.
The quick action may have saved residences from some very serious flooding.
Water did reach some of the Ghent homes and there was standing water in the street on Thursday afternoon.