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Published February 25, 2011, 05:51 PM

Grafton Declares State of Emergency for Flooding

Walsh County is taking a look at its flood plans early as the city of Grafton is expected to have major flooding.

The National Weather Service is predicting major flooding in Grafton this year.

"We're looking right now that we have a little less snow than we did last year but it has a little bit more moisture content in it. Over the last couple of weeks, we've had some warm weather where the snow has shrunk but the moisture is still there," said Grafton Mayor Chris West.

With a 62% chance of reaching 14.5 feet, the city of Grafton has declared a State of Emergency which will allow the Army Corps of Engineers to build a temporary dike system once again.

"Flooding is a major event here no matter if its April or July. A hard rain with high waters can still flood like we have seen in years past," said West.

For the rest of Walsh County, the biggest problem is the overland flooding of the Red River, East of I-29.

"Dealing with some of those areas is making sure that the residents are prepared. We do encourage them to have flood insurance. When it gets a little closer to the time we will provide sand and sandbags to those residents," said Walsh County Emergency Manager Brent Nelson.

Nelson says he expects the county to declare a State of Emergency as well.

"To let the state and hopefully the federal government realize that we are in a severe flooding situation again," said Nelson.

Grafton city leaders say they'll wait for the snow to start to melt before they take more flood precautions.

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