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Excessive rain, snow melt washes out roads in northern St. Louis County, caution advised

Apr 24, 2022 06:36AM ● By Editor
A washout along a culvert is seen along St. Louis County Road 65, west of State Highway 73 north of Chisholm, Minn., on Saturday, April 23, 2022. County public works officials said a combination of heavy rain and melting snow had caused several washouts and road closures in the area.  Photo: St. Louis County Public Works

By Briggs LeSavage from KBJR-TV and Samuel King from Minnesota Public Radio News • April 24, 2022

Excessive rain and snow melt has washed out several roads in parts of northern St. Louis County.

Crews have closed parts of the impacted roads while they repair nearby culverts. They have also posted warning signs where the road is covered in water.

The impacted areas include:

A segment of County Road 65 , approximately 1.2 miles west of State Highway 73, has been closed temporarily due to a culvert washout. The road is in Unorganized Township 60-20, west of Side Lake. Repairs are expected to be made and the road re-opened next week.

Meanwhile, repairs are already in progress following washouts on King Road in Orr, and County Road 535 in Greaney.

Officials say, with additional rain in the forecast, more washouts are likely.

If you see a flooded road or unsafe conditions can report it by calling 911.

 Standing water fills ditches and covers parts of farm fields along U.S. Highway 59 near Brooks, Minn., on Saturday, April 23, 2022. The combination of heavy rain and melting snow prompted forecasters to issue flood warnings across much of northwestern Minnesota. Photo:Minnesota Department of Transportation

Flood warnings were in effect for several counties in northern Minnesota, as the combination of continued rainfall and snowmelt is causing waters to rise. 

Officials in Crookston declared a state of emergency Saturday afternoon in anticipation of the major flooding forecast along the Red Lake River. 

At 20.7 feet as of Saturday afternoon, the river was already over the flood stage of 15 feet. The river is expected to rise to a crest of 29 feet by Monday evening. 

The Crookston Times reported that city officials were asking for volunteers to fill and place sandbags and walk along river dikes. 

East of Crookston, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported that State Highway 2 was closed from County Road 112 near Red Lake Falls over to U.S. 59 in Brooks due to high water. Flash flood warnings were issued for Clearwater, Polk and Red Lake counties through Saturday evening. 

To see the original MPR Report and updates to this story, follow this link to the MPR News website.

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