Hokah car dealer saves business as flood hits

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HOKAH, Minn. (WXOW) – With the Root River only a short distance away, flooding is particularly bad in Hokah.

Parts of Highway 16 are underwater. The road is closed to traffic until the water recedes.

The main cause is the nine inches of snow which melted in a very short time.

Tom Oldenburg owns Tri-State Auto Outlet. He says he’s never seen the water come up this
quick in just a few hours.

Oldenburg and his employees ended up moving all 72 cars out of their lot to higher ground.

“Well, as soon as we seen the forecast I knew something was gonna happen. I mean it’s only a matter of time when you have this much snow on the ground. You’ve got to be prepared for it so about a week ago, I was already looking at this, but probably not on this level that I expected,” said Oldenburg.

Tom has lived in Hokah for 35 years. He’s owned the business for 21 years. In 2007, he lost every car in his inventory due to flooding.

He says now he knows the power of Mother Nature, so he acted fast.

He also says this time he has flood insurance.

Photo showing the flooding around Hokah on Friday, March 15, 2019. Photo courtesy Reed Welch.
Tri-State Auto Outlet, center, surrounded by water from the Root River. Photo courtesy Reed Welch.


Heather Armstrong

Heather Armstrong

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