Recent rains combined with snowmelt has led to costly flooding in Beltrami County, where a state of emergency has been declared.
The county estimates there to have already been "tens of thousands of dollars of damage and expense related to the emergency response to flooding," which officials say should qualify the county for state disaster assistance.
Upwards of three inches of rain April 23 exacerbated the flooding, resulting in rural roads covered with water, overland flooding and even flooding at the Bemidji city hall as the city's storm drainage system was overwhelmed.
The county says Bemidji was hit with "numerous roadways experienced culvert washouts and roadway washouts." An example of the roadway flooding is shown in the picture at the top of the story, which was submitted to Beltrami County Emergency Management.
"This picture was submitted by Angie Estey showing the Nelson Dam Road completely under water [Monday]. Many roads are like this," the department said.
The county board declaring a state of emergency allows other local law enforcement agencies to help in Beltrami County, along with allowing the the county to request reimbursement to cover disaster expenses.
Spring floods are dealt with every year in Minnesota, but this year's flooding has worsened due to significant late-season snowfall and big storm systems dumping precipitation week after week for the past month.
The Bemidji area has received nearly two feet of snow in the past 30 days, with even higher snow totals just west of Bemidji.
Eighty miles west of Bemidji, the town of Crookston has been inundated with water from the Red Lake River, which crested just shy of a record level set during the disastrous floods of 1997.
The river in Crookston is now receding, as is the Red River at Grand Forks, which appears to have crested just shy of the major flood stage. But with more rain in the forecast, especially Friday-Sunday, conditions are being monitored closely.
At this point, the heaviest rain totals through the weekend could wind up being just south of places like Grand Forks, Crookston and Bemidji, though forecast details will likely change as the Friday-Sunday system approaches.