Downtown Northfield is Open for Business

…at least most of it.

I’ve been accused, more than once, of skepticism.  Personally, I think a little skepticism can be a good thing.  I find that rumors of Mark Twain’s death are often greatly exaggerated.

I had heard that the Archer House and most of the rest of the west side of the 200 block of Division Street were going to be without power for “maybe weeks”.  Here’s manager Todd Byhre, open for business as of 9 a.m. today.  Todd said that Xcel Energy was able to turn the power back on this morning.

Then I was told that the 200 block of Water Street was going to be down for a month.  I walked over the now reopened 2nd Street Bridge to see who was out and about.

Steve Edwins said that Excel suggested they could swap in a new power source as soon as the water receded.  He was conservatively optimistic and the firm was gathering together to conduct an assessment of their readiness to perform.  SMSQ has some archives stored in the basement but most of their operations were above the crest.

Karin Larson reminded me that their family’s printing business is in their basement, the water is gone but they need to test the equipment; Larson’s retail operation could be open soon.  Basil’s is closed until further notice but the Pitsavas family was in there this morning, assessing the damage; food service operations are a little more challenging after a flood.

The Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn law firm had cleaning crews on the scene.  Their building, one of the architectural icons of Northfield, was at the epicenter of the flooding.  Let’s hope that the Egyptianate Revival Style of the 1910 State Bank of Northfield Building helps to bring about a quick reanimation of this structure.

It is pretty bad over on the west side of the river, however.  As you may have heard, Froggy Bottoms was  wiped out by a breach of the dike.  One of Northfield’s most popular spots for eating, drinking, and listening to live music may not reopen.

Both the 5th Street and 2nd Street Bridges are back open.  There are now two more entrances to downtown and traffic flow has been greatly improved.  The 4th Street Bridge and Bridge Square remain closed, at least as of this morning.

I guess we should be thankful, the flooding damage could have been much worse.  Nevertheless, some locations, buildings, and businesses, were hard hit.  Now more than ever, please Be Local and Buy Local.

Volunteers will be needed for clean-up, today, tomorrow, and into the foreseeable future.  For more information, go to the Flood Volunteers Headquarters at “Northfield-Dot-Org”.