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Students to Present Flood Mitigation Findings

Project intended to help Rochester (Minn.) area communities.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 8-21-2013

Mankato, Minn. – Students from Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering will present findings of a year-long flood mitigation study that was completed for the Zumbro River Watershed on Thursday, Aug. 22 at community meetings and a press conference in Hammond, Minn. (located about 16 miles north of Rochester, Minn.), and Rochester, Minn.

PHOTO CAPTION: Minnesota State Mankato alumni volunteer Eric Hanninan ('10) (left) reviews work and advises student team leader Sarah Green ('13) during the Zumbro River flood mitigation study done by Minnesota State Mankato.

Thursday’s meetings, all open to the public, were organized by Zumbro & Friends, a community non-profit group. Meeting times and locations are:

  • 10 a.m. to noon at Hammond Baseball Pavilion, located on the Zumbro River, primarily for local legislators.
  • 12:30 p.m. press conference at Hammond Baseball Pavilion, also open to interested individuals.
  • 2:30 p.m. meeting in Rochester with watershed managers intended to build acceptance and long-term support for project recommendations.

For more information about Thursday’s meetings, media should contact John Homme of the Zumbro & Friends citizens group. Homme can be reached by phone at 507-206-0177 or by email at

Five of the 14 Minnesota State Mankato students who worked on the year-long project are expected to attend Thursday’s meetings. Recent graduate Sarah Green, the student lead civil engineer on the project, will have a speaking role. Minnesota State Mankato Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering Stephen J. Druschel (pictured fourth from left along with the five students) will also attend Thursday’s meetings.

For more information on Minnesota State Mankato’s involvement in the project, please contact Druschel by phone at 507-389-2115 or by email at

The Zumbro River Flood Mitigation study is an effort to model the Zumbro River and its tributaries, providing an evaluation tool regarding potential features of flood protection for the communities along the Zumbro River that were affected in a September 2010 flood or previous events. This model will assist communities in examining options for flood protection features to limit the effects of future flooding events. The Zumbro River flood of September 2010 devastated about 20 communities, including Rochester, Minn. Many communities sustained substantial flood damage. They included Pine Island, Oronoco, Mazeppa, Zumbrota and Mantorville. One dam was lost, resulting in the permanent removal of a lake.

The flood mitigation study grew out of a Minnesota State Mankato civil engineering senior capstone project during the 2011-2012 academic year. After that project, the Minnesota state legislature awarded a $50,000 grant (one-tenth of the estimated professional cost) for the study on Sept. 24, 2012, to Minnesota State Mankato’s Water Resource Center, under the auspices of the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Fourteen Minnesota State Mankato students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, worked on the project and evaluated 150 miles of river.

More information is available at:

Four additional public meetings on the Zumbro River Flood Mitigation study are being planned for September.

The Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering is part of the College of Science, Engineering and Technology at Minnesota State Mankato.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,413 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

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