Aitkin County Board Declares Flood Emergency

By KBJR News 1

July 2, 2012 Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 1:57 PM CDT

Aitkin, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River at Aitkin, Minnesota.

At noon Friday the stage was 17.4 feet and the flood stage is 12.0 feet. The River is expected to crest at 20 feet early next week, which would surpass the second highest crest on record.

US Highway 210 is closed between the cities of McGregor and Tamarack, and Trunk Highway 65 is closed between the City of McGregor and Aitkin County Road 4. For a map of road closures statewide go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ A dozen Aitkin County and township roads are washed out and impassable.

A public meeting was held in Aitkin yesterday evening to inform residents of steps being taken to protect public safety and property. Aitkin City Fire Chief Brian Pisarek and city and county leaders were present to respond to the concerns of city residents. Similar meetings will be held at 6 p.m. each day until there is no longer a need.

An incident information line is being staffed to answer public concerns and direct people to resources and more detailed information. That number is 218-927-3033.

Aitkin residents can obtain flood information for specific addresses in the city by contacting City Hall. Pumps are being made available for loan to people who need to pump basements, as are sand bags. Residents are being asked to have their own sand delivered to fill the bags. Anyone who needs assistance to fill and place sandbags is being asked to contact the Aitkin City Hall (218-927-2527) where a list of volunteers is being maintained.