ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, is providing technical and direct assistance to communities following historic rain events this month.
The Corps sent flood engineers to communities along the Rainy, Minnesota and Mississippi rivers to assist local responders fighting the recent floods. The engineers are providing information on how to build sandbag levees, protect critical infrastructure and monitor the levees for potential issues.
The Corps is also providing direct assistance to residents in Warroad, Minn. The Corps’ contractor, Red Lake Builders, Inc., from Red Lake, Minn., is in the process of building temporary emergency levees and plugging interior drainage outlets. The Corps sent a small engineering team to Warroad to monitor the levee construction and assist the community. The levee construction is expected to be finished this week.
In addition to local assistance, the Corps is managing several reservoirs to minimize downstream flood impacts. Along the Minnesota River, Corps water managers are releasing approximately 13,000 cubic feet per second, or cfs, of water at Lac Qui Parle Reservoir, near Watson, Minn. The pool elevation is at the top of the flood control level.
Within the Mississippi River Headwaters, the Corps is managing Lake Winnibigoshish, near Deer River, Minn.; Leech Lake, near Federal Dam, Minn., and Pokegama Lake, near Grand Rapids, Minn., to reduce the flood threat at Aitkin, Minn. Leech and Winni are currently about 6 inches above the summer operating level and Pokegama Lake is about 1.5 feet above the summer level. The Corps hopes to get the reservoirs within their summer levels in the coming days providing there is no additional rain.
The Corps is managing the Orwell and White Rock dams to reduce the flood risk at Wahpeton, N.D. Record inflows into Orwell Dam have created record releases. The St. Paul District received a deviation request Monday, June 23, to allow releases from White Rock Dam with the river at its current levels. The Corps anticipates the increased flows from White Rock Dam will raise the river at Wahpeton less than 1 foot. The releases allow the Corps to gain valuable flood storage in Lake Traverse.
The Corps of Engineers urges everyone to use extreme caution near flood waters. Please avoid any unnecessary activities near high waters during flood events, and remember to always wear a life jacket while on the water. Also, please avoid driving through flood waters as the road conditions and currents may be worse than they appear.
Release no. 14-064
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