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Editorial: Lady luck has been on our side on the Minnesota River

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

Lady luck has been on our side in the Minnesota River valley thus far this spring. We hope Lady luck remains with us through the coming weekend and weeks.

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The Minnesota River Thursday afternoon was approaching the projected second crest levels in Montevideo and Granite Falls.

Montevideo -- The Minnesota River had reached 19.86 feet Thursday afternoon and the projected crest was 20 feet.

Granite Falls -- The Minnesota River had reached 892.94 feet Thursday afternoon in the city and was expected to reach 893 feet by last night.

So far, both cities have avoided any serious damage.

This week was the 14th anniversary of the flood of 1997. During that flood, Montevideo had to evacuate about 400 people, Granite Falls about 200 individuals and the Upper Sioux Community about 50 people on the reservation.

Credit goes to each community for its efforts in flood mitigation and preparation since 1997.

As Mayor Dave Smiglewski noted Thursday, the flow of the Minnesota River in Granite Falls thus far in 2011 is half the volume that flowed through in 1997.

Certainly, spreading the flow over the two crests separated by a week or more helped mitigate the flood levels this year. Barring any major precipitation this weekend or in the coming weeks, the Minnesota River will slowly recede into its banks.

At this time, our thoughts go to the cities and residents of the Red River of the North. The Red is expected to crest near 40 feet in Fargo-Moorhead by Sunday and is project to reach 51 feet by Wednesday in Grand Forks-East Grand Forks.

Just as the Minnesota River concerns as subsiding, the flood fight of 2011 has just begun on the Red River.

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