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Published June 21, 2012, 11:18 PM

10 Years Later, Roseau Remembers Devastating Flood

ROSEAU, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Ten years ago, floodwaters devastated the town of Roseau. Even after a decade, the community continues to work to get flood protection in place to prevent a similar disaster.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

ROSEAU, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Ten years ago, floodwaters devastated the town of Roseau. Even after a decade, the community continues to work to get flood protection in place to prevent a similar disaster.

Natalie Nitchke was in high school ten years ago when the town of Roseau was devastated.

"A friend posted it on Facebook and when I got it it's like all kinds of memories came back. " It's like where have ten years gone," Nitchke said.

Like many families, Nitschke's had to be evacuated from their home.

"Packed up what we could, tax stuff, important information, and what not and we left," Nitchke said.

A decade ago, 15 inches of rain fell in three days. It flooded the entire downtown and many neighborhoods. Looking at the downtown today, it's hard to tell that there ever was a flood. Mark Jenson is just one of the business owners whose business was destroyed.

"Total chaos and triplicate hell," Jenson said.

He says after years of hard work, his downtown business is finally growing again.

"There are empty business still uptown. Going back to the flood years. That haven't recovered and come back yet. But besides the flood, but I'm sure that it's partially economic reasons too," Jenson said.

The city continues to work to make sure such a disaster doesn't happen again. There are some finished projects which include new structures to deal with storm water in town and overland flooding just west of town. Right now a $13 million diversion project is underway east of town.

Roseau Economic Development Coordinator Todd Peterson says the final diversion project could be built as soon as next year taking Roseau out of the flood plain. And that would give families like Natalie Nitshke's the assurance that such a flood doesn't happen again.

"Houses are gone, businesses have changed. It's not the same," Nitshke saidk.

The city estimates between reconstruction and flood projects, the damage has cost the city well over $100 million.

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