Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Residents battle Rainy River flooding in International Falls area

Author:

The Rainy River just west of International Falls hit a record high level, and still the rain fell Sunday as volunteers rushed to sandbag in an effort to save homes, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

Minnesota Highway 11, a major thoroughfare in the town on the U.S.-Canadian border, remains closed to traffic, the newspaper reports. The highway in Loman, about 20 miles west of International Falls, was under 3 feet of water.

Just downstream from Loman, in Manitou Rapids, the Rainy River soared to 21.54 feet late Sunday night – up 6 feet in four days and now above the 21.04 feet record set during historic flooding in 1950, the News Tribune reports.

Officials blame the flooding on a wicked combination of snow melt and relentless rains in the last few days.

Downpours damped spirits of volunteers fighting to hold the river back over the weekend; 1.33 inches of rain fell in International Falls on Sunday, the National Weather Service reports. Monday called for clearer skies, with a chance for more rain Monday night.

A wall of sandbags on Sunday held about 2 feet of water from Ashley Belanger's home about 15 miles west of International Falls, she told WDIO. She and as many as 40 volunteers began to build the wall Friday as the river rose.

“We're just doing what we can. I mean you keep sandbagging and keep hoping the water is going to go down. And there is nothing else you can really do,” Belanger told the station.

Koochiching County sheriff's officials said volunteers had filled about 50,000 sandbags. Sheriff's officials pleaded for volunteers over the weekend.

Red Cross officials said more relief workers and supplies, including a second mobile feeding truck, were heading to International Falls Sunday and Monday, Northland's News Center reported.

Owners of Thunderbird Lodge on Rainy Lake in International Falls report that docks are submerged as the lake level has risen 3 feet above normal, the Associated Press reports.

YouTube user Melody Hensel captured some of the brutal conditions with a video uploaded Friday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJQyoqK111g

"With high water and 45 mph winds, our dock was being torn from it's rock cribs," she writes in the video description. "We were working to move barrels full of water that were being bounced around by waves, trying to save [the] dock."

On Friday, Canada's Ministry of Natural Resources declared a state of emergency due to the rising water levels, the Rainy River Record reports.

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant's massive slam leads Timberwolves to fifth straight win

The dunk didn't count, but provided the highlight of the night.

Cam Talbot / Minnesota Wild

WIld arrive late, Cam Talbot stays on point to beat Devils

Despite a 30-minute delay, the Wild picked up a 3-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-11-24 at 4.10.54 PM

Appeal to find 35-year-old missing from Oak Grove home

Police say he's not believed to be in danger.

vote, election

7 MN Republicans urge states to audit 2020 election results

There has been no evidence of significant fraud in any single U.S. state.

child vaccine pexels

How many MN kids age 5-11 have received a COVID vaccine dose?

The governor says the state has one of the highest child vaccination rates in the U.S.

police lights

Seven juveniles arrested in connection with stolen vehicles in Woodbury

Woodbury authorities have issued a warning following a spate of auto thefts.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

1 dead after driver crashes into stalled vehicle on shoulder

The vehicle stopped on the side of the road was unoccupied at the time.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Update: Vikings say Griffen is out of his home, 'getting the care he needs'

After hours in his residence, the 33-year-old exited "without incident," the team said.

The search involved several local public safety agencies, including a State Patrol helicopter unit and a K9 team.

Woman, 22, dies in crash just outside Brainerd

Another woman was injured in the collision.

Bloomington PD person interest dog abuse 11.24.21

Dog found shot and run over, police searching for person of interest

The police department released photos of a possible suspect.

Related