Rebuilding Zumbro Falls – Businesses and residents are recovering from the flood of 2010

0006Her clinic was in tip-top shape, having been remodeled and updated in 2005. Then the September 2010 flood hit. Dr. Sarah Mehrkens of Zumbro Falls Veterinary Clinic reflects on the disaster last fall.

    “A 28-foot crest was predicted, so ‘just in case,’ we loaded three trucks with as much as we could and removed it from the clinic; electronic equipment, medications and the surgery table were saved. We also moved things from the bottom cabinets to the top.”

    But when the water crested at one foot over the record 40 feet, all was lost. They waited three weeks to get the go-ahead to rebuild, which required gutting everything to the studs.

    “The same crew that did the work in ‘05 kicked into high gear and we rebuilt exactly as it had been. They were terrific,” Mehrkens said.

    To facilitate her reopening, the drug companies experiencing a backlog of orders pushed her request to the head of the line and offered discounts. “By November 10, we were back to normal—if there is such a thing as normal. My heart still races when I hear a hard spring rain. You don’t get over it, you have to move on.”

Scooter’s sees an opportunity

When the flood waters receded in Zumbro Falls, it left mixed emotions in its wake: despair, hope, determination. Homes and businesses have changed along with the residents themselves.

    Scott Deobald of Scooter’s Restaurant and Bar has the make-lemonade attitude. “I decided to rebuild. When the local restaurant chose not to reopen, I took that as an opportunity to extend my hours and include breakfast, lunch and supper and make it more than just a bar and grill,” Deobald said.

    His business is now open seven days a week and offers daily specials. Scooter’s also changed the interior substantially and people are welcoming the new look.

    “We reopened for New Year’s Eve. We thought it was fitting—new year, new beginning.” Located at 432 on Highway 60, Deobald said business is not back to normal, but is picking up.

    To volunteer or for more information, contact Wallerich at 507-696-3622 or