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Dayton: Early Planning Is Key To Flood Prep

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton says early planning will be the key to successfully combat expected widespread flooding this spring.

Dayton spoke Wednesday in South St. Paul, at a meeting that included municipal, law enforcement and emergency officials from several cities.

“When it melts, how fast it melt and the like. Given the volume of snow we had just over the weekend, every bit of that adds to what’s already a serious situation,” said Dayton.

Dayton and state emergency manager Kris Eide say it’s too early to tell how last weekend’s heavy snow will affect the flood threat across southern Minnesota, but they say it has them concerned.

“We know what our worst case is and we can prepare for that,” said Eide.

Wednesday’s meeting was one of several that authorities are having in communities across the state as they get a head start on preparations for what is expected to be a serious flood season. A snowy winter has officials on guard for flooding along the Mississippi River and other major Minnesota waterways.

What’s unusual this year is that floods predicted statewide could occur at the same time. The 14,000-member National Guard is near full strength, prepared to be deployed at the area’s most affected, which could be the Red River Valley and the southern third of Minnesota.

“We know with the reports we’ve, the snow we’ve had in Minnesota this year, we’re gonna see some flooding, some place, some time,” said Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Richard C. Nash.

The hurry-up flood preps underway include early positioning of light and heavy equipment in different parts of the state. The only problem is that it’s still too early to tell just how bad it will be.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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