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Lake of the Woods up by 2 feet in June, Gov. Dayton visits Warroad

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Lake of the Woods up by 2 feet in June, Gov. Dayton visits Warroad
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

With flood preparations wrapped up in Warroad, Minn., residents are keeping a wary eye on the weather as Lake of the Woods continues to threaten the community.


“All the sandbagging is done,” Police Chief Wade Steinbring said late Wednesday afternoon. “We think we’ve put ourselves in a good position. Right now, the wildcard is the weather.”

Earlier in the day, Gov. Mark Dayton toured the northern Minnesota community, speaking with officials and residents about flooding all over the state, telling them that he might have to call for a special session of the Legislature to secure funding to help pay for flood-fighting costs.

Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties were added to the list of Minnesota counties with emergency flood declarations.

The mammoth Lake of the Woods has risen nearly 2 feet this month, as unseasonably wet weather has persisted throughout northern Minnesota. The elevation was at about 1,062.26 feet above sea levelWednesday afternoon, about 2 feet above normal summertime levels.

Officials forecast the lake could rise another 4 to 6 inches by week’s end, before the slowing down and possibly cresting within a week to 10 days.

Community members and officials filled some 25,000 sandbags Tuesday and Wednesday to help fortify 2,000 feet of concrete barriers topped with clay, according to Steinbring. They also sandbagged shoreline areas at Springsteel Resort, about five miles north of Warroad, and at Warroad Estates.

The police chief, who also serves as Warroad’s emergency manager, said the city has sandbags held in reserve, in case they’re needed later.

Meanwhile, flood warnings have been extended to East Grand Forks and Drayton, N.D., along the Red River, according to the National Weather Service. Flood warnings continue in Grand Forks and Walsh counties in North Dakota and Polk and Marshall counties in Minnesota.

The Red River in East Grand Forks was at 33.1 feet Wednesday. Minor flood stage is 28 feet.

Kevin Bonham
Kevin Bonham covers regional news, mostly from northeast North Dakota, for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for more than 30 years. Find his articles at: He welcomes story ideas via email,, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.  
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