National Guard to help with northeast Minnesota floods

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

Emergency management officials in St. Louis and Koochiching counties have asked for help dealing with flooding caused by heavy spring rains and rapid snowmelt across the Rainy River Basin.

Record floods were measured on the upper Rainy River, including Lake Vermilion, and docks and boathouses were damaged on several lakes. Some residents put up sandbags to protect their homes, WDIO-TV reported.

More rain is forecast for the next few days, which will likely push the levels of many lakes and rivers past their historic highs of 2014 and 1950, Walz said.

“I have seen firsthand the impact of the floods on our farmers and our communities, and we will ensure that our fellow Minnesotans continue to receive the support they need,” the governor said.

Many parts of the state were hampered by inclement weather. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar hosted a virtual roundtable on Thursday with local officials in areas rocked by severe storms, wind and flooding. Klobuchar said she was working on federal disaster relief funding.

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