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One Moment Please... A double whammy

Fri, Jun 28th, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

By Jason Sethre


Fillmore County Journal &

Olmsted County Journal

Cell: 507-251-5297


To say the weather has been wearing on us a bit this year is a dramatic understatement.

From the beginning of January 2013 all the way into May 2013, we saw record snowfall. And, then following unusually late snowstorms in May, we have seen record rainfall.

There are homes with basements that have never had water problems, and they are now seeing anywhere from three inches to over two feet of water. The rain water simply has no other place to go, so the run-off is permeating walls of basements.

And, then when we look at the business climate in our area, there are two sectors that have been getting hit hard.

First, our crop farmers have had to make decisions about whether to make a claim with crop insurance because they wouldn’t be able to get all of their planting done in time to produce a decent yield. And, then the excessive rainfall has created lakes where there used to be farm fields. I guess you might say it is the “Year of the Small Farmer.” Any farmer under 250 acres had better odds of getting their crops in this year, so hopefully things will pan out well for them.

This has certainly been an unusual year just like last year was an unusual year. But, we’d all rather take last year again if we had the choice. In 2012, we saw temperatures hitting 80 degrees in February. That’s not normal, but neither are the extremes of this year’s weather.

Second, our tourism-based businesses have felt the pain with visitors discouraged from coming to our area based on a continuously dismal forecast. Sometimes, the forecasts were even wrong, calling for more rainfall but we saw nothing. We’ll definitely take another day with no rain, but when the forecast calls for rain, those visitors stay clear.

From my conversations with many local business owners, I know for a fact that the excessive rainfall has hurt outfitters, restaurants, lawn care, construction, golf courses, campgrounds, and many others. Unfortunately, we don’t have any control over Mother Nature, so we just have to roll with the punches. We have to deal with the hand we are dealt.

We have to focus on what we can control.

If you want to help, here’s what you can do. Help your friends in need. Borrow them a shop vac to help suck the water out of their basement. Help others as you would like to be helped if you were in the same situation.

And, if you want to take things a step further, consider joining your local emergency services team. Most ambulance and fire departments in Fillmore County are short on volunteers. If you don’t volunteer, you can’t assume others will.

In addition, please try as hard as you can to keep your dollars local. Now, more than ever, local businesses need their local residents to spend money in the local area. With the lack of tourism dollars rolling in during May and June, they need our help.

Many businesses in our area rely upon the summer months to survive throughout the entire year, and they have a lot of catching up to do.

And, last but not least, pray for the weather to normalize -- whatever that means these days.

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