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Published December 27, 2011, 05:34 PM

Crookston Flood Protection Expected to be Completed by End of 2012

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Construction should finish on Crookston's flood protection project by the end of 2012.

CROOKSTON, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Construction should finish on Crookston's flood protection project by the end of 2012.

City officials are excited to get finished with structural protection in the last neighborhood that needs it.

There have been several home buyouts and the removal of two ice arenas. Now it's on to the final phase of the project.

The projects have been in the works for quite a while.

"I came here in 1993 and from that time on, it seems like that's all we've worked on is flood protection," Crookston clerk and treasurer Betty Arvidson said.

The city is building certified flood protection throughout all flood-prone areas in the city.

"These are being funded, rather than by federal dollars, by state dollars with the flood hazard mitigation program the state of Minnesota has," Community Development Director Mike Macdonald said.

Protection in town includes a new earthen dike along Highway 2 next to the Red Lake River, as well as a concrete flood wall on both sides of the Robert Street bridge.

"We're currently working on the last neighborhood that we're building structural protection for, that'll complete the systems for the community," Macdonald said.

Crews will start construction on the Jerome's Addition in June of 2012. After that, there won't be any residual flood plain areas other than a few scattered houses.

People are relieved to have the protection, but they still remember that floods are unpredictable.

"We still have to be prepared and keep an eye on it, it's not like it completely goes away. We do have a river running through our community," Arvidson said.

The total cost of the flood projects in Crookston will be nearly $55 million.

City officials say construction is expected to start on the final neighborhood in June and be done by the fall of 2012.

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