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Published February 09, 2011, 09:45 PM

Sen. Franken To Brief Crookston On Flood Preparations

Minnesota state leaders are taking flood forecasts from the National Weather Service, and using them to help cities like Crookston. Franken and new Gov. Mark Dayton are hitting the road and holding open meetings about flood preparation.

Minnesota state leaders are taking flood forecasts from the National Weather Service, and using them to help cities like Crookston.

Senator Al Franken and new Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton are hitting the road and holding open meetings about flood preparation.

"We are threatened sometimes with the flood. So, I think it's a good thing to know what to expect," said Marilyn Wentzel, who lives a few miles outside of Crookston.

"We're going to get hit pretty hard I think. This is the most snow I've seen for a long time. '97 was the last time I saw anything close to this," said Donavan Haugstad, who lives in Crookston.

The national weather service is already predicting possible flooding in Crookston and a 50-percent possibility the Red Lake River will crest at 25 feet.

This early prediction is one way people can be ready if the Red Lake River rises like it did last spring.

"It's kind of nice to get a heads up," said Haugstad.

Franken and Dayton want people in Crookston to know the possibility of this river rising this spring, is a concern to them this winter.

"Senator Franken has been closely monitoring the National Weather Forecast for major flooding," said Valerie Gravseth, a Northwest Representative for Franken.

Franken will hold public flood preparedness meeting in Crookston at the University of Minnesota-Crookston.

"He and the governor got together and decided to bring the state and federal agencies together to inform the public about the measures that are currently underway," said Gravseth.

The two politicians been touring several Minnesota towns this winter. Gravseth says these open meetings have a very important purpose.

"The sooner we can prepare folks, ease their anxiety and let them know we're paying attention," Gravseth said.

Wentzel said preparing early really matters.

"Who knows, a month from now if we have an early thaw... I think it's a good thing for them to see what will be."

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