Repeat flood hits rural MN

BY SUSAN KIM | NORMAN COUNTY, MN | June 24, 2002


Flooding in rural northwestern Minnesota is becoming a weekly occurrence, unfortunately, for residents along the swelling Wild Rice River in Mahnomen and Norman counties.

After nearly a foot of rain over the weekend, scores of people evacuated their homes and feverishly piled sandbags to protect what they could. Meanwhile they can't traverse washed-out roads to try to inspect damage to their swamped crops.

And things could get worse before they get better. The Wild Rice River won't crest until later this week. Thirteen counties in northwestern Minnesota were declared federal flood disasters last week.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams were providing emergency assistance.

The Minneapolis division of The Salvation Army continued to provide meals to emergency responders and evacuated residents. The National Guard was also on hand to help with evacuations, and to attempt to shore up a levee in Ada.

Flood evacuees in Mahnomen were staying at the local high school.

Last week the farm community of Ross was hard hit, with thousands of acres of crops swamped. Wheat, barley, and bluegrass were the major crops lost. Farmers in that area invest about $100 in each acre they plant. Many report they cannot economically recover from their losses.


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