Rising waters lead to rising fears in Northern Minnesota

By KBJR News 1

June 16, 2014 Updated Jun 16, 2014 at 10:58 PM CDT

International Falls, MN (NNCNOW.com) - It's a situation many who call Northern Koochiching County home have never faced.

"I've seen it on TV and that, where they do it in other places, but I've never seen it here," said James Ysen, a resident of Ranier.

Volunteers have been busy filling sandbags since Thursday in an attempt to save homes and other structures.

"The resilience of everybody, they're just digging down deep. If you look here, we've got pretty elderly people holding a bag, it's just what it takes and pretty young kids doing the same thing," said Koochiching County Sheriff Brian Jespersen.

The devastation is attracting the attention of state and US leaders.

Congressman Rick Nolan (D-8th District) canceled all of his Monday commitments to tour the impacted areas.

"These waters are rising rapidly. It's creating problems for the power plants, for the resorts, there are houses flooded, commercial establishments, roads and bridges, and I wanted to see it first-hand," Rep. Nolan said.

The congressman hopes to secure federal disaster relief funds to help with the flooding impacts.

But for now, people living in the path of rising water levels say nothing can help their fear.

"A lot of people getting really scared, scared because the water is coming up to their houses and they can't do anything about it," said Jane Smith, a resident of Ranier.

More storms are in the forecast for this week.

Governor Mark Dayton is expected to tour the flood-effected area on Tuesday.

Bryce Henry
bhenry@kbjr.com

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.