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Village of Hammond responds quickly to Pintail Drive flooding

Water rushed down Pintail Drive — in Hammond — into the Blackduck development’s loan retention pond on the west end of the development following days of rain on Wednesday, May 17. Residents said the water was between 6 and 8 inches high during the flooding. Photo courtesy of Jeff and Katie Bihner1 / 3
Rain water came up several inches on the cars that were still in the street during the flooding of Pintail Drive in Hammond on Wednesday, May 17. Photo courtesy of Jeff and Katie Bihner2 / 3
Residents of Pintail Drive in Hammond are pictured walking through several inches of rain that flooded the whole street Wednesday, May 17. Photo courtesy of Michelle Tahtinen3 / 3

Residents of Pintail Drive in Hammond were surprised to find their street suddenly flooded with 6-8 inches of rain as it flowed rapidly from east to west around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 17.

"The first thoughts I had when I saw the water rushing down the street was, 'Oh no! I hope it doesn't get into our houses. What a mess!'" said Pintail Drive resident Michelle Tahtinen. " The flooding was 6-8 inches over the street. It was moving at a good clip to the pond and it took everything in its path, including garbage, toys, garbage cans, balls, etc."

Residents immediately notified the village and an officer was sent over for crowd control and to keep spectators safe.

"The officer called in the village board members to decide how to clean it up and it went relatively smooth for a fluke incident," Tahtinen said. "Once the village was notified, they responded very well."

According to Village of Hammond Trustee Mark Benton — who lives on Clyde Hanson Drive one street over from Pintail in the Blackduck development — there are 35 houses on Pintail Drive.

"I believe that they went over and beyond and helped us get this cleaned up. The board also made some decisions to deal with the cause, so that this doesn't happen again," said Village of Hammond Trustee and Pintail Drive resident Laurie Gruber. "The public works, attorney and our engineer will be meeting with the farmer to the east, whose fields were the nexus with the heavy rains that caused the mess."

The public works department worked late into the night, hauling away five truckloads of mud and clay. According to Gruber and Tahtinen, no houses sustained damage, only dirty driveways and muddy yards. The one casualty of the flooding was a squad car which was ruined after sand found its way into the engine from the high, heavily silted waters.

"The problem was twofold; the immediate change/impact was the farmer tilled the land and removed some of the rocks that were acting as a breaker. The other part of it, which was even bigger than the farmer, is the fact that we are Phase 1 of the development of that area and the water was supposed to go back toward the other end of the street where another retention pond would be when Phase 2 and Phase 3 were completed," Benton said. "All of that allowed the water to easily and more heavily run down from his land. That flooded the whole street and took out some of the ledge rocks that we had on the drainage pond."

Solutions to the flooding problem were discussed at the May 22 Hammond Village Board meeting; a large number of Pintail residents attended to hear what the board offered as short and long-term solutions.

"We discussed the subject at the meeting and decided to get quotes for someone to come in and redo the area where the flooding started," Benton said. "In the short term, we are going to get the skid steer to notch out and drive some dirt around so if we get some rain before it gets fixed it will help prevent more flooding. The concerned residents were there and they didn't have an issue with the plan of action."

The trustees approved the plan at the meeting, Benton said, with the short term solutions starting as soon as possible and quotes for the long-term fixes to the issue being ready for the board's next regular meeting.

Blackduck development, according to Benton, started construction in the early 2000s, but the last house was recently completed on the last empty foundation.

"The drainage in that whole development has been an issue in the past," Benton said. "A few of my neighbors have an issue with it, especially when the snow melts. But this is the only time I can think we have had something this bad."

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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