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Northeastern Minnesota bracing for record flooding

May 16, 2022 GMT

LUTSEN, Minn. (AP) — Communities in northeastern Minnesota are preparing to deal with more flooding and are calling for volunteers to help with sandbagging.

Near Voyageurs National Park, most docks are under water at area lakes and some 200 homes and resorts are at risk.

Kabetogama Township Supervisor John Stegmeir said his area is bracing for a record-breaking flood.

Stegmeir said more volunteers are needed, especially since the average age of volunteers sandbagging right now is 65. The volunteers, along with some staff from Voyageurs National Park, have been working since Tuesday, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

“I think we’ve filled 8,000 bags this week, which isn’t big when you talk about the flooding on the Red River, they’re talking millions of bags, number one we couldn’t do that and the people who have been coming out to bag are older, you know,” he said.

Volunteers are asked to check in at the town hall and to bring a shovel if possible.

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A flood warning is in effect for many communities in the Rainy River Basin of far northern Minnesota as the National Weather Service expects rivers and creeks to remain high.

In Cook County, the owner of Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior is hoping the iconic bridges on the property can be saved. The recent high water levels in the area sent debris rushing down the Poplar River, damaging the bridges.