Henderson roads flood just weeks after reopening

It took weeks for crews to open up Highways 19 and 93 in Henderson, Minnesota last month. Now, parts are closed again because of flooding.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Transportation say this is just the beginning, and they’re expecting the Minnesota River to rise another three feet, meaning the highways could be closed another few weeks.

The Classic Car Roll In attracts hot rods from all over the area looking to rev their engines in Henderson. But, instead of cruising the open roadways to get here each Tuesday, they’re running into road blocks.

“I’ve lived in the area all my life, pretty much. I just don’t remember it being so difficult to get to a town," car enthusiast Dick Milinkovich said.

This morning, MnDOT had to close down two of the major highways.

“It was underwater a better part of 50 days this spring and, again, early this morning it went back underwater and we expect actually three more feet of water in the coming days,” said Jed Falgren, MnDOT District 7 Maintenance Engineer.

It’s all thanks to Monday’s downpour and the rising Minnesota and Rush rivers. While that rain was inconvenient to some, it means a lot more if you’re a business in this town.

“The money I have lost I will not get that back,” said Ruth Ann Nytes, owner of Toody’s Sweet Treats.

Nytes’ business thrives on good weather  - and open roads.  

“This has been since back in March, we get a road open and then it closes,” she said.

While Tuesday’s event brings the customers in, she’s not sure how long she can go on if this wet weather continues.

“I’m thinking if I want to continue that bad, we’ll see during the summer if June will be better, weather-wise and road-wise,” she said.

MnDOT highways do have a tendency to flood, but this year is especially bad. They have done studies about making some changes to the highways, including building a bridge out of town on Highway 19 or raise Highway 93 south out of Henderson. But, at this point, there is no money for either project.