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As Minnesota River floods, Henderson residents face extreme detours

Henderson is feeling the effects of flooding
Henderson is feeling the effects of flooding 01:50

HENDERSON, Minn. — Henderson is feeling the impacts of the rising Minnesota River. For this small town of less than 1,000 people, flooding is a common occurrence that causes detours.

Highway 19 east of Henderson to Highway 169 closed overnight Wednesday with the anticipation of the river seeping onto the roadway.

This recent closure leaves Highway 19 going west as the only option.

Highway 93 is closed for construction to raise the roadway by 8 feet, putting it 1 foot above historic high-water events. County Road 6 is also getting a makeover to avoid future flooding.

A typical stroll now has Kyle Hilgers on pins and needles as the river rises.

"We are relying on dirt to protect our livelihood here," Hilgers said.

City officials have a dike and sandbags in place to prevent the flooded highway from reaching downtown. For Hilgers, detours have added 80 miles to his commute to work.

"It makes the commute every day a pain in the butt," he said.

Despite the longer drive time, he's taking things in stride even joking about how grateful he is for the community.

Kayla Hogan at Henderson Wine & Spirits says Saturday afternoons are typically bustling, but it was quieter during our visit. Hogan believes it's due to the closures.

"The road closures have definitely impacted flow here in Henderson for all businesses," Hogan said.

But that's not stopping a community fighting for Henderson to stay above water.

"Just one day at a time," smiled Hogan.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor the MnDOT website for the most up-to-date information on highway closures.

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