Thomson Hydro Station Still Recovering One Year after Flood

By KBJR News 1

June 18, 2013 Updated Jun 18, 2013 at 11:09 PM CDT

Thomson, MN (NNCNOW.com) - To recall last year, 5,600 cubic feet of water per second flooded the Thomson power house and inundated the station's turbines, overtopped the Thomson reservoir, and breached the earth dike that channels water into the station.

It caused substantial damage but station officials say everything is now either in the process of being torn down, or put back together.

Repairs to the chute that channels water into the station are estimated at $25 million.
Meanwhile another $35 million will go to strengthen the system against future flooding.

The flood also impacted the station's employees, many of whom were forced to abandon their cars for two months after the flood washed out the main road to the station.

"As my family went to bed that night, I started thinking 'I think I need to go to work instead.' I was the last vehicle to make it in before the roads washed out. We didn't have access to the plant except for hiking up this grassy spillway," said Hydro Operations Superintendent Nora Rosemore.

Within four days of the flood, Minnesota Power had a 215 step stairway built into the hillside so crews could access the plant.

Crews estimate the station will be partially operational by the end of this year, and fully restored by 2014.