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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Ecklund encourages state, local, federal cooperation in response to Koochiching, St. Louis county flooding

Monday, May 16, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls) called on Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to deliver additional assistance to combat flooding in Koochiching and St. Louis counties. Many roads have already washed out and sandbagging efforts are ongoing to protect property.

“Over the past several days, I’ve been in constant communication with homeowners, resort operators, and local leaders as waters rapidly rise. We’re facing potentially historic flooding levels, and our region will need an extra hand to navigate this dire situation,” Rep. Ecklund said. “I’m grateful for the work already underway in our region, and I’m hoping for quick action from Governor Walz and his administration to deliver additional assistance. I’m committed to working with them in any way possible to make sure Koochiching and St. Louis counties have the resources they need on the ground now and once the floods recede, assistance to recover.”

Historic flooding levels comparable to floods in 2014 and 1950 are expected. Rep. Ecklund is hoping for assistance from the Minnesota National Guard – in coordination with state and local agencies – to assist with sandbagging, flood protection patrols, and potential evacuation operations. Rep. Ecklund is also hopeful President Biden will declare a federal disaster making the region eligible for FEMA assistance.

Water levels in the Rainy River basin continue to rise and the National Weather Service has issued a flood warning through May 22. Levels on Namakan Lake are expected to rise seven to nine inches. Rainy Lake is expected to rise 11 to 13 inches between May 13 and May 20. Lake Vermilion, Crane Lake, and Kabetogama Lake are all impacted, as well as areas near the mouth of the Black, Little Fork, and Big Fork rivers.

Additional information is available from the NWS, Koochiching County, and St. Louis County.