MINNESOTA NATIONAL GUARD MAINTAINING EFFORTS IN CROOKSTON TO HELP FIGHT THE FLOOD

As of this morning, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks has issued a revised crest of the Red Lake River. The crest occurred earlier this morning at 27.07 feet, well below the original crest prediction of 28.5 feet.

The Minnesota National Guard was deployed yesterday afternoon by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to help with the flooding efforts and give local volunteers a break from their fight against the flood. They arrived on the scene yesterday around 5:00 p.m. with roughly 50 members on the ground.

Even with the Red Lake River now hitting its crest, the Minnesota National Guard remains committed to doing its part and keeping the citizens of Crookston safe. “Now that the river has crested, our current efforts will continue to remain here in Crookston doing levy patrolling and making sure the water level stays the same and starts to decrease,” said Minnesota National Guard Captain Ryan Graen. “We will also be making sure the sandbags that are in place are doing their purpose and going forward that’s really what we’re going to be looking at doing. If we have to we will flex personnel if sandbagging is needed and water starts to creep over in certain places.”

With the 50 members of the Minnesota National Guard on the ground here in Crookston, Captain Graen says they shouldn’t need to send any more to help fight the flood. “We do have around 50 personnel on here on the ground right now and we will be maintaining that number until operations are complete,” said Captain Ryan Graen. “There also shouldn’t be a need to send more personnel into Crookston.”

As mentioned by Graen, the Minnesota National Guard will be exiting Crookston as soon as operations and the job is completed. Based on the new projections from the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, that could be sometime this week. Until then they will continue to work closely with the City of Crookston in whatever way they are needed.

As expressed yesterday, citizens and sightseers are recommended and encouraged to avoid low-lying areas for their safety and stay away from affected areas unless they are helping with the fighting efforts.