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Cold slows rising waters, give a reprieve to flood fighters on Hawk Creek in west central Minn.

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

CLARA CITY -- A return to sub-freezing temperatures is giving flood fighters a reprieve in the area, but worries remain about the additional moisture held in the six- to 12-inches of snow and slush that now blankets the landscape.

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Clara City volunteers completed additional sandbagging last night, but are not facing any imminent emergencies this morning. City Administrator Windy Block said Hawk Creek appears to have come down by about six inches from last night, and much of the ice that was causing worries has moved downstream.

Hawk Creek's flow through Maynard remains high, and the community is being forced to bypass some of the inflow at the wastewater treatment plant. The city's lift station is still struggling to keep up, according to Steve Miller, public works director.

The water has not risen to the point where sandbagging is necessary, however.

That's true in Dawson as well, where the Lac qui Parle River has slowed its rise. The city is hopeful of not seeing any serious problems today.

The Minnesota River has not caused major problems in either Montevideo or Granite Falls, although city officials in both communities are keeping a close eye on it. The river is still projected to crest next week at levels similar to last year.

The cold weather has definitely helped slow the rise of the river, noted Marv Garbe, emergency management director for Chippewa County. "It's holding its own,'' he said.

Garbe and others are hoping for a couple more days of cold, as well as a slow, prolonged warm up absent of any new moisture. They are anticipating a new flood forecast from the National Weather Service in Chanhassen later this week. It will take into account the new moisture received.

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