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Northern MN Hit Hard By Heavy Rain, Flooding

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Our recent stretch of spring storms has toppled trees and brought down power lines across Minnesota, but the biggest threat of all with the rain has been flooding.

So if you’re planning to hit the cabin up north to get away from it all, you’re out of luck. Far northern Minnesota has been one of the spots hit hardest by the spring rain. Near the Canadian border, International Falls Mayor Bob Andrson said he has never seen the water as high as it is now. Gov. Mark Dayton is headed to the area Tuesday to check out flooding.

The State Emergency Operations Center, which helps coordinate with local cities authorities to see what help is needed, is looking at several parts of the state. The spring snow melt already raised lake and river levels along the U.S.-Canadian border.

Heavy rains over the weekend made the problem worse along Rainy Lake and Rainy River. The water has swept over docks and boathouses, and there has been some flooding of roads and homes. More than 100 homeowners came out to protect their homes, stacking tens of thousands of sandbags since Thursday.

Still, the water levels reached within a few inches of spilling over that buffer. It’ll be dry in the area for most of Tuesday, but Koochiching County officials expect the water levels could rise another couple of inches per day before all the run-off is done.

And it’s not just homeowners who are suffering. The flooding threat also brings a huge challenge for resorts in the area for people wanting to take a vacation.

Voyageurs National Park has also closed 30 campsites because the docks and boat launches are under water. Tens of thousands of dollars in losses are likely for those small businesses.

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