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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Rainy Lake Flood Updates

Jun 13, 2022 08:42PM ● By Editor
All flood related updates regarding Rainy Lake can be found here in this article.  Newest updates will be posted on top.  

Sandbag Operations Winding Down, National Guard Demobilizing

June 13, 2022 – Rainy Lake has crested today and is expected to begin receding between now and June 20, barring no severe weather events. With a decrease in demand for sandbags over the last week and a stockpile of 100,000 filled sandbags for the community at the ready, active sandbagging operations at Kerry Park are shutting down for the time being. National Guard Members who have been working on local flood response over the last month are demobilizing this evening.

“We are incredibly grateful to the National Guard and every staff member and volunteer who have got us to this point in flood response,” said Sheriff Perryn Hedlund. “It is absolutely a relief to see Rainy Lake crest and what appears to be a reduction; however, we remain cautiously optimistic and will remain vigilant as we can’t be sure what impacts the weather could hold and we are not out of the water just yet. Conditions could change quickly, but for now this is a welcome step in the right direction.”

The Emergency Operations Team will have forklift drivers at Kerry Park from 8 am -4 pm this week to assist in loading vehicles and trailers for those who are still in need of sandbags, based on demand. A supply of sand and bags is also on hand should operations need to be ramped up again, but at this time the 100,000 sandbags on hand are expected to exceed demand.

The American Red Cross and Salvation Army organizations who have been a key partner in emergency operations to-date, will remain on site and available to residents for mental health, first aid and emotional support, for the immediate future and will gradually reduce their footprint based on demand. The groups have the ability to quickly ramp-up Temporary Evacuation Points, sheltering and food operations if needed.

The Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor conditions closely and remain active for continuous community disaster response.

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Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Public Information Officer, Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center at 218-387-5700 or [email protected]

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FLOOD INFORMATION UPDATE:

UT 413 Closing Today, One-Way Traffic on County Road 20 and Change in Kerry Park Sandbag Hours

 

June 6, 2022 (3 pm) – As flood response continues today changes to traffic and closure of UT 413 are in effect today. Due to logistical challenges sandbag operations at Kerry Park will close at 6 pm. 

·       Unorganized Territory (UT) Road 413, which has been mostly inaccessible in the last weeks, will be officially closed.

·       Traffic on County Road 20 from County Road 23 through County Road 93 area is reduced to a single lane with eastbound traffic only to accommodate road work and equipment. Watch for local detours, use extra caution and obey all signage.

·       Be aware that all roads with emergency grade raises have reduced overhead clearance – pay attention to overhead power lines and encroachments.

·       Crews will be working to repair conditions on County Road 94 today which may cause delays. Please use extra caution in these areas and obey all signage.

 Approximately 90,000 sandbags were distributed to residents in need over the weekend. 

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Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Public Information Officer, Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center at 218-387-5700 or [email protected]

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FLOOD INFORMATION UPDATE:

Road Closure, Traffic Control and Sheltering Changes for Flood Management

June 4, 2022 (3:30 pm) – Due to rising flood waters, which have now surpassed the 1950 record levels, a road closure of UT 408 will go into effect at 12 pm on Sunday, June 5. This closure impacts one residence on the south side of the road. Residents have been notified and are encouraged to evacuate. Additional changes in traffic control and sheltering location will go into effect over the weekend to accommodate flood management and response.

Construction Congestion Near Water Treatment Plant
As a heads-up, the community may see increased construction vehicle and heavy equipment traffic around Highway 332 and County Road 155 near the water treatment plant until midnight, Sunday June 5. Motorists are asked to use caution and keep this area clear, if possible, to allow ample space for trucks constructing a protective clay berm around the water treatment plant.

Evacuation Checkpoint & Sheltering for People and Pets
The Temporary Evacuation Check-in Point is moving to the International Falls High School on Sunday, June 5, as the school is now available as a shelter location for people and pets. Do not go to the Backus Community Center if evacuating, please check in at the High School even if you do not require sheltering. The new Evacuation Check-in Point will be open at 8 am, Sunday. 

The Northeast Region Pet Sheltering Trailer has been brought in and has equipment and supplies to accommodate up to 50 pets. Pet sheltering will be available in the hockey arena on the school campus to keep pets and owners together after evacuation. If evacuating and you need immediate shelter assistance call 218-240-4418.

Emergency Operations Center
The Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center, which includes a variety of response partners, is continually evaluating conditions round the clock to respond to the flood incident and meet community needs as quickly as possible. Updates will be provided as new information becomes available. For more flood information, go to co.koochiching.mn.us and follow the Koochiching County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook for regular status updates. For questions and assistance, call the Flood Information Hotline at 218-283-6755.

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Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Public Information Officer, Koochiching County Emergency Operations

  


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June 3, 2022 at 3:16 p.m.

FLOOD INFORMATION UPDATE:

How to Help – Sandbag Volunteers Needed, Donations Set Up

 

June 3, 2022 (2:30 pm) – The Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is grateful for the outpouring of support in response to the current flood incident. Many offers of equipment, supplies and financial donations are arising with people asking how to donate. A Donations Manager has now been put in place to coordinate these offerings, determine needs through the EOC and how to store and stage items.

“Public safety officials have a variety of equipment such as boats, vehicles and personal protective gear available to us, but what is really needed at this time is volunteers for sandbagging at the main operations site at Kerry Park,” said Sheriff Perryn Hedlund. “We are incredibly grateful for people’s generous offerings, but with that comes the challenge of where to store and stage larger equipment without congesting the limited space of our response sites and staging areas.

“The demand for sandbags to help out citizens is the priority at this time. While we are producing an incredible number of bags each day, it’s not enough and people are having to wait longer than they’d like. When your home and property is at risk, people are understandably stressed and having to wait any amount of time adds to that stress and with water rising time is of the essence. Many of our volunteers have been at this round-the-clock for days and even weeks. They can only do so much and need a break. Person-power to rotate these spots and keep the momentum going is what is critically needed.”

As these nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations are already set up to receive financial donations that can be directed to the local incident response and have been a critical part of the on-the-ground incident response to-date, anyone who wishes to make a financial donation to the Koochiching County Flood Response, can do so through:

American Red Cross of Northern Minnesota

Online at: www.redcross.org/donate

By phone at: 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669)

International Falls Salvation Army

Online at: www.centralusa.salvationarmy.org/northern/InternationalFalls/
By phone at: 218-283-3394

Those who wish to donate other items to the local flood response can contact the Red Cross Flood Information Hotline at 218-283-6755. Please leave a detailed message with your name and contact number and the Donations Manager will call you back.         

                                                                                                               

Contact: Valerie Marasco Eliasen, Public Information Officer, Koochiching County Emergency Operations Center at 218-387-5700 or [email protected]

 

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June 3, 2022 at 3:07 p.m.

MnDOT to add additional emergency grades raises on Hwy 11 near Rainy Lake

DULUTH, Minn. – MnDOT will be adding additional emergency grade raises on Hwy 11 on Rainy Lake through Saturday, June 4. While the grade raises are being constructed, motorists should expect delays and single lanes controlled by flaggers. The additional grade raises will be placed near Tilson Bay and at County Road 139. Upon completion, single lane bypasses will be controlled by signals or by stop and take turns.

Please use caution and follow the directions on the signalized system as it is timed appropriately for the travel distance. Travel only when the signal is green and wait until the next cycle before entering the bypass as traffic may be approaching from the other direction. Do not stop in the bypass for any reason including to observe conditions or take pictures.

At this time, Hwy 11 will remain open, including while the grade raise is constructed. Water levels will continue to be closely monitored. This work is being conducted to prevent the residents and businesses from being cut off from all land-based access and services.

For more information on projects in northeast Minnesota, follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/groups/MnDOTnortheast and Twitter at @mndotnortheast. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org.

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Contact: Margie Nelson, D1 Public Affairs Coordinator

Cell: 218-390-4604
Office: 
218-725-2708

[email protected]

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