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Mike Axford delivers a pallet of sandbags to a staging area along U.S. Highway 212. The sandbags Axford was moving were among some 5,000 filled and stacked previously by volunteers in Maynard. Tribune photo by Tom Cherveny

2010 water levels will be some for the record books

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/032210montema1.jpg?itok=H2odPfTG
West Central Tribune
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2010 water levels will be some for the record books
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

MONTEVIDEO -- Montevideo was hoping to breathe a sigh of relief this morning.Flood preparations as of late Monday were on track to meet expectations for a river crest of 20.1 feet Monday night, which would make it the fourth highest flood event on record.

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It's also the earliest on record, but it is 3.8 feet lower than then record 23.9 feet flood crest on April 6, 1997.

City Manager Steve Jones said work may be continued today on upgrading the U.S. Highway 212 levee, but by all estimations the city was staying ahead of the floodwaters. Volunteers filled 10,000 sandbags for the levee Monday and added 5,000 provided by Maynard.

The rising waters forced the city to curtail sanitary sewer service to the Smith Addition on Sunday.

The city anticipates that river levels will remain high through the week.

Downstream, the Minnesota River is expected to crest in Granite Falls at 893 feet tonight. That would make it the fifth highest flood event on record, tying a crest recorded on June 25, 1919. The projected crest tonight is 6.3 feet lower than the 899.3-foot level recorded in the April 9, 1997, flood.

Mayor Dave Smiglewski said the city has closed off the pedestrian bridge and downtown flood wall, and started up a downtown flood pumping station.

The mayor was hopeful that the city would see little damage as a result of the rising waters, but he too noted that the waters will likely remain high for an extended period.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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