Governor Walz talks spring flooding concerns

State’s plan for flood season

State's plan for flood season

Governor Tim Walz spoke on Thursday in St. Paul about the state’s current spring flood outlook and preparations.

Walz was joined at 12:30 p.m. by the Twin Cities National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge Dan Hawblitzel, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Rob Wilkins, Homeland Security and Emergency Management Interim Director Kevin Reed, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Floodplain Manager Ceil Strauss, and Minnesota Department of Commerce Deputy Commissioner Julia Dreier.

The news conference came roughly an hour after the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Highway 93 from Highway 169 to Henderson is closed due to flooding. A detour using Highway 19 is currently being used until the floodwaters recede.

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Drivers are reminded they can be fined up to $1,000 for driving on a closed road.

In addition, the Red Cross says it has a team in Moorhead to help keep sandbaggers fed and hydrated. The agency is also watching flood conditions in counties along the Red and Rainy Rivers. Once flood season advances, team members will help as waters recede, such as supplying cleanup kits and gift cards to local response teams.

Cities throughout Minnesota have been preparing for floods as the weather warms. The city of St. Paul took a procedural step on April 4 by declaring a state of emergency in preparation for spring flooding. This allows the city to move resources more quickly in case the Mississippi River floods.

Officials are also closely watching other rivers, like the St. Croix River in Stillwater, as they take steps to prevent damage to residents and infrastructure from flooding.

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