The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed Minnesota Highway 1 from Oslo to County Road 17 due to flooding on Wednesday, April 8. Highway 220 north of Oslo between Highways 1 and 317 also remains closed. With road closures in effect, the town of Oslo is essentially an island until Red River levels recede.
An April 7 executive order from Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota Army National Guard to provide assistance for the flood in Marshall County, and on Wednesday, April 8, nearly 20 soldiers from the Moorhead-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion 136th Infantry mobilized to Oslo. They will assist with monitoring levees and flood protection systems as well as support any necessary rescue and evacuation operations, according to a release from the National Guard.
This is the second consecutive year the Minnesota National Guard has been sent to assist with flooding in Marshall County.
Oslo Mayor Erika Martens said like last year, the National Guard will assist in bringing supplies in and out of the town, including residents’ mail.
“So we will get the mail in and out, any kind of supplies that need to come in and out, whether it’s for the grocery store or for the restaurant or the bar, whatever is needed,” Martens said. “They will help transport materials, any and all kinds of necessities that are needed.”
Wednesday afternoon, the Red River at Oslo was running at 37.5 feet, where it is expected to stay through the end of the National Weather Service's seven-day forecast window, with a slight secondary rise expected on April 10 at 37.8 feet. Major flooding on the Red River at Oslo begins at 36 feet, and the record at Oslo was set in 2009 at 38.37 feet.
In Grand Forks, the Red River was running at 46.02 feet Wednesday afternoon, just above major flood stages. The flood will continue trending upward and is expected to crest at 47 feet between Friday and Saturday, before receding back into moderate flood levels around April 15.
At 46.02 feet, the Red has reached the No. 10 all-time crest at Grand Forks.