Houston flooding, mud hurts farmers' crop - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Houston flooding, mud hurts farmers' crop


HOUSTON, Minnesota (WXOW) – Houston County Emergency Management reports flood damage to roads and bridges has surpassed $6 million as of Thursday afternoon.

That includes damage reports from 17 townships, two cities and county highways.

Ten to 14 inches has also damaged many farm crops, said emergency management.

While most farmers pray for rain, David Johnston prayed it would stop Sunday morning.

"That's when it had started really coming hard and water coming fast. We had enough water here that it actually washed out part of the township road," said Johnston, owner of Riverside Farms.

Runoff from Saturday night's storms flooded Riverside Farms six to eight inches.

Johnston said most of his corn crop will be alright in a few days. Rain Wednesday night washed mud off the crop. He expects the corn to straighten up when it dries off.

"You can see those spots where the water is standing out there, that's probably gonna drown out and not be any value over there," Johnston said.

On some of his fields, Johnston expects a 40 to 50 percent loss.

Even with water damage to his crops, it's the slippery, thick layers of mud that could keep his soy beans and corn from harvesting.

"This, right here, would be slippery now. See now even when I slide my shoes through it… it'll stick to your shoes, too if you notice that," Johnston said.

Its mud you wouldn't want to track through your house. But even that got damaged.

"I'm not happy. I come down here and (Johnston) tells me not sweep, but I do anyway because I feel like I want it out of my house," said Tammy Johnston, David's wife.

Her flooded basement has displaced all of her show dogs.

This basement flood is as bad as the one back in 2007, Tammy Johnston said.

Outdoors, David Johnston said the damage is the worst he's seen since his family bought the farm in the 1920s.

"You just take what comes. And that's what's happened," he said.

Farmers rely on Mother Nature. The Johnstons are hoping she's a little kinder next year.

For farmers who have damage not covered by insurance, assistance is available from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Disaster Recovery Loan Program.

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