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Published April 05, 2011, 04:01 PM

Earthen Levy Construction Begins in Oslo, MN

People who live in and around Oslo, MN, are gearing up for flooding throughout the week. Over the next 36 hours, the city is constructing an earthen levy to 42 feet, but the work is just beginning.

People who live in and around Oslo, MN, are gearing up for flooding throughout the week. Over the next 36 hours, the city is constructing an earthen levy to 42 feet, but the work is just beginning.

It's a busy week in Oslo as the city works overtime to get ready for rising waters that have surrounded the city in recent springs.

"We got our sandbags filled and in town in storage so they're ready to go at a moment's notice, we've contacted all the law enforcement agencies, the emergency managers in the county," Oslo Mayor Scott Kosmatka said.

That's not all. Over the next two days, an earthen levy is being constructed along River Street.

"They don't let us put the dirt on until the water's at a certain level because the bank wants to slip. So we're in an isolated time frame to get it done," Jerry Gowan from Gowan Construction said.

Right now, water is a little over 32 feet. The National Weather Service predicts the Red will hit major flood stage over the next seven days. Oslo has a possibility of reaching up to 38 feet.

"They know it comes every year, so everybody's pretty much used to it and ready for when it happens. Roads going underwater and being able to go to and from work and the muddy conditions," Gowan said.

As the town prepares for yet another flood, with weeks of hard work, this may be one of the last years people have to put in so many hours.

"The next 1 1/2 to 2 years we hope to have our permanent structure constructed and we won't need to do this anymore." Kosmatka said.

Right now the Red is at moderate flood stage in Oslo.

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