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Hubbard County requests disaster funds for County 93 sinkhole

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Hubbard County Highway Department workers set up barricades in March 2020 after a sinkhole collapsed a lane of County 93 southwest of Laporte. (Photo by Jed Nordin, courtesy of Hubbard County)

Hubbard County seeks state disaster assistance to recover a portion of costs related to repairing a sinkhole last spring.

A roughly car-sized sinkhole opened in early March on County 93 in Lakeport Township. According to the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, a section of roadway collapsed at one end of a bridge a half-mile east of State Hwy. 64, approximately 2.5 miles southwest of Laporte. The collapse left a large sinkhole in a lane of traffic, making the road impassible.

In a letter dated July 1 to Gov. Tim Walz, the Hubbard County Board stated, “Beginning on March 9, Hubbard County was impacted by spring snow melt run-off and flooding in Lakeport Township. The run-off caused extensive damages to the public infrastructure by undermining a bridge and causing a sinkhole to form. On March 11, Hubbard County declared a local emergency in response to this disaster.”

County officials submitted a damage and impact assessment report to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), which indicated storm-related damages in excess of $40,000.

“As a result of our initial damage estimates, Hubbard County requested HSEM to conduct a state preliminary damage assessment (PDA), which was conducted on June 10,” the letter states. “The PDA revealed storm-related costs and damages to our public infrastructure at $40,000. This amount exceeded 50 percent of Hubbard County’s federal damage indicator. Hubbard County understands that this is a 75 percent reimbursement program.”

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Hubbard County may request state disaster assistance in accordance with Minnesota Statute 12B.30.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.
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