International Falls Mayor Says He’s Never Seen Water Levels Like This

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(credit: CBS) Susie Jones
Susie Jones has been with WCCO Radio since 1996. She started as a...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of volunteers have been working to sandbag homes around International Falls, Minn., where Bob Anderson is mayor, to protect the homes from rising water.

Anderson said the Rainy River and Rainy Lake are overflowing.

“It’s been about 85 years since the Rainy River has been this high,” Anderson said.

International Falls Mayor Says He's Never Seen Water Levels Like This

floodingsandbags International Falls Mayor Says Hes Never Seen Water Levels Like This

Anderson explained part of the problem is rain.

“In the last four days we’ve had about six inches of rain,” he said.

And now, he said, the Fort Francis Hydro, on the Canadian side of the Rainy River has shut down their eight water wheels.

“That’s going to raise the water levels in the lake because there’s no water passing through those water wheels,” he said.

The International Hydro, on the International Falls side, has 20 inches of water on the floor of that hydro plant and may end up having to shut down shortly too, according to Anderson.

He’s grateful for the help, with the governor expected to tour the area on Tuesday.

He said they may still ask for help from the National Guard.

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