Weekend flooding impacts local communities

Featured photo from the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office

Flooding from the rain events over the weekend has had an impact on local communities.

Bemidji City Hall’s basement has flooded, and City Manager Nate Mathews said Saturday that the basement department operations, such as building and rental inspections, the Greater Bemidji Joint Planning Board, and GIS, may not be able to meet with members of the public until the water has been mopped up.

The Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office reported Saturday morning several instances of washed-out and underwater roadways.

Beltrami County Emergency Management Director Chris Muller said Saturday evening that numerous township and county roadways were either underwater or had washed out, especially north of Highway 2 and north of Blackduck.

Beltrami County townships, cities and county departments that have flood responses are reminded to document all activities, expenses, damages and impacts to Chris Muller by email.

Further west, the National Guard responded to flooding at the Red Lake River in Crookston.

Governor Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency and authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support for emergency flood operations, including personnel, equipment, and resources. The assistance is authorized via Emergency Executive Order 22-08.

“When our neighbors are in trouble, we step up to lend a hand,” said Governor Walz.

“I am proud that the Minnesota National Guard has answered this call to serve. The support of the Guard will be critical to ensuring the safety of Minnesotans during this difficult time.”

Flooding on the Red Lake River at Crookston has closed local roads and threatened key facilities, including a fire station and a housing development. Local government resources are not sufficient to address the threat to life and property posed by the flooding.

Several counties have declared local emergencies and activated their emergency operations plans. The Polk County Sheriff and emergency manager have requested that the Minnesota National Guard assist with emergency sandbagging, the patrol of flood protection systems, and potential evacuation operations.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area