Weather Forecast


Sirens to sound call for help with flood effort in Clara City

CLARA CITY -- Sirens will be sounded in Clara City if volunteers are needed for emergency sandbagging, fire fighters in the community decided on Monday.

The fire fighters are preparing for the possibility of additional flooding after they were joined by other volunteers in battling the rising waters of Hawk Creek on Sunday.

Some 75 Clara City residents responded to rising waters on Hawk Creek by filling and tossing an estimated 4,000 sandbags on Sunday.

The bags were stacked to protect eight homes -- four of them located outside of town and four others inside the community.

Nineteen of the fire department's 20 members responded to the call for help and began filling sandbags around 8 a.m. on Sunday. Word was delivered at Sunday church services that more help was needed, and the ranks of volunteers swelled to 75 by morning's end.

The fire fighters were planning to do additional sandbagging on Monday evening to protect two areas of concern in the community, according to Chad Forkrud, chief of the volunteer department, and Troy Sweep, the assistant chief.

Despite the sandbagging effort on Sunday, about two feet of water reached the walk-out basement floor of Julie Runia's home about four miles north of Clara City.

A couple inches of water also reached the lower floor of the Michael Bosch residence about one mile north of Glueck in Chippewa County.

Otherwise the sandbagging efforts on Sunday appear to have prevented any other flood damage in the area, although everyone is keeping a careful eye on the situation, said the fire fighters.

The volunteers also placed sandbags on manhole covers along Hawk Creek in the community and worked to protect other public infrastructure in the community, according to Kyle Morell, city administrator.

A backhoe was put into service on Monday to move ice piling up at the first bridge on Hawk Creek south of Clara City.

The fire fighters said they have not been able to obtain any reports to indicate whether the waters of Hawk Creek will rise in the days ahead. The other wild card facing flood preparations is the unpredictability of ice jamming.

"Is it just getting started or is the worst over?" said Chief Forkrud. "I wish I could tell you."

Tom Cherveny

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

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