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Montevideo prepares for flood needs with pumps, sandbags

A portion of the Chippewa River is pictured in this March 16, 2010, file photo as it rises earlier than expected in the Smith Addition of Montevideo. The Montevideo City Council taken extra steps this year to decrease the impact of potential flooding this spring. Some have predicted floodwaters may reach the marks of those in the 1997 and 2001 historic flood events. Tribune photo

MONEVIDEO -- Concerns about the potential for spring flooding led Montevideo City Council members to order extra pumps and sandbags.

During its meeting Monday, the City Council planned to award a $35,629.83 quote for a Thompson Pump but opted to order three of them instead. The diesel powered pumps are used to de-water areas behind levees.

The Thompson Pump was among three models considered.

The pump is more expensive but offers a greater working capacity than the other two models considered. It has a 28-foot lift, a 2,500-gallon-per-minute capacity and 33-hour run time per fill.

The council also decided to order an additional 250,000 sandbags, according to City Manager Steve Jones. The city now has 600,000 sandbags available for spring.

The city sent letters to residents Feb. 4, reminding them of the possibility of flooding.

The most recent forecast predicts floodwaters could reach or exceed last year's level, with a chance of equaling or exceeding the historic flood events of 1997 and 2001.

The letter encourages homeowners to consider flood insurance.

- In other business, the council approved language changes to allow for the issuance of administrative tickets for minor traffic violations.

The council members approved the first reading of an ordinance change to clarify the definition of a kennel and replace "animal shelter'' with ''city pound'' in the city's ordinances on domestic dogs and cats.

Tom Cherveny

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

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