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Dayton blames Republicans for loss of $100 million in federal road funds

Flood fighting now underway in west central Minnesota

Jeff Stager worked with a partner setting up sandbags Tuesday afternoon in the north side of Clara City.

CLARA CITY -- Flood fighting efforts have got underway as waters swelled over the banks of tributaries to the Minnesota River on Tuesday afternoon.

Volunteers began sandbagging an area on the north side of Clara City, according to City Administrator Windy Block. A crew of 15 to 20 volunteers answered the call, and the city was prepared to sound the sirens and call for additional help if the waters continued to rise.

Downstream in Maynard, the city was struggling to keep ahead of waters threatening to back up the sewer system. The city's lift station was having a difficult time keeping up with the flows, and additional pumps were being used, according to Steve Miller, public works director.

The waters of the Lac qui Parle River were rising rapidly in Dawson on Tuesday. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad had moved a crane to town to prevent ice jamming on the railroad bridge over the Lac qui Parle River in the city, according to Mayor Merlin Ellefson.

The Chippewa River in Benson was rising rapidly as well, but there was no immediate threat to homes in the Golf Road area. Residents there were adding to their sandbag dikes as a precaution.

"We're working it pretty hard,'' said resident Greg Zniewski.

In Montevideo and Granite Falls, officials were preparing for the Minnesota River to crest on Monday and Tuesday of next week at the levels experienced last year.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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