Historic Flooding Taking Place at Rainy Lake

KOOCHICHING COUNTY, Minn. — Although the rivers in Duluth don’t seem to be too affected, just two and a half hours north, they’re experiencing what they’re calling historic flooding, and they expect it to get much worse.

Residents of Rainy Lake up by the Canadian border and near International Falls, have not seen water levels like this since 2014, and concerned property owners are having to sandbag around their homes to prevent water from coming in.

“I mean to go from last year with incredibly low like record low waters to this just tells you how vulnerable we can be based on this weather and mother nature,” Natalie Peterson, a Rainy Lake Property Owner said.

Melting snow and rain fall have added to the rising water level, making it very difficult for homeowners like Natalie Peterson, to plan ahead.

“We we’re up there for a couple of days, we’ll head back up there Friday, we’ve done what we can do at this point, it’ll be kind of managing it at this point and then also assisting others,” Peterson added.

The fear is that if the water continues to rise, roads could be washed out, and it would be impossible to get to properties, so residents are doing their best to get on top of it.

“When we drove through town it’s a constant parade of trucks and trailers full of sandbags so kind of eerie to see,” Peterson said, and sadly, there is no end in sight, “the unfortunate thing is we’ve got a ways to go, like we’re not near the end on this one”.

Peterson says the flooding has prevented construction of a new property, and will have to wait till the ground dries out to begin that, but as the community goes through this difficult time, the support for each other has shown and will continue.

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