National Guard to help with northeastern Minnesota flooding

May 19, 2022 GMT

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday activated the National Guard to help control record flooding in areas of northeastern Minnesota.

Emergency management officials in St. Louis and Koochiching counties requested the assistance to deal with high water caused by heavy spring rains and rapid snowmelt throughout the Rainy River Basin.

Record high water has been measured on the Rainy River Headwaters, including Lake Vermilion, and docks and boathouses have sustained damage on several lakes. Some residents are sandbagging to protect their homes, WDIO-TV reported.

More rain is forecast for the coming days, which will likely push many lake and river levels beyond their historic highs of 2014 and 1950, Walz said.

“I’ve seen firsthand the impact flooding is having on our farmers and communities, and we will ensure that our fellow Minnesotans continue to receive the support they need,” the governor said.

Many parts of the state have been hampered by weather woes. U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar held a virtual roundtable Thursday with local officials in areas rocked by severe storms, wind and flooding. Klobuchar said she is working on federal disaster relief funding.