ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) - Gov. Tim Walz has authorized the national guard to provide flood support in northeastern Minnesota, a region which has seen successive amounts of rainfall and snow melt over the last few weeks.
St. Louis and Koochiching county sheriffs requested the aid from Walz, who tapped the guard to provide logistical operational support with setting up flood protection.
"As severe weather pushes flooding beyond historic highs I'm incredibly grateful that the members of our National Guard have again raised their hands to help their neighbors," said Walz. "I've seen firsthand the impact flooding is having on our farmers and communities, and we will ensure that our fellow Minnesotans continue to receive the support they need."
More rain is expected to arrive in the days to come, which could push lakes and river levels above the historic highs in 2014 and 1950. Near Voyageurs National Parks, roughly 200 homes are at risk.
Flooding is closing boat launches and impacting camp sites up north, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Resort owners in the area worry that continued flooding and nearby closures will negatively impact their revenue.
National guard members will stay until June 10, or until the emergency conditions subside.
On Friday, the National Guard announced that 45 soldiers of the Duluth-based 1st Battalion, 94th Cavalry Regiment would be responding to the request for assistance.
"Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard live here, work here, and serve here. This mission is an example of their dedication to their fellow Minnesotans," Army Col. Scott Rohweder, Minnesota National Guard Director of Operations, said. "Upon receiving notification of the need for support, 1st Battalion, 94th Cavalry Regiment immediately began preparations to assist community members and civil authorities of the Rainy River Basin. We will provide the support that is needed, and continue to be 'Always Ready, Always There' to respond when our state and nation needs us."
The Minnesota National Guard previously worked to help with flooding in that region in 2014.
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