News: Gov. Dayton visits Moorhead to view flood preparations
Story by Sgt. Eric Jungels
MOORHEAD, Minn. – Gov. Mark Dayton, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Collin Peterson visited the Moorhead area, April 9, as the city waited for the Red River to crest.
Dayton and Klobuchar made trips to neighborhoods in Moorhead and Georgetown to view flood preparations and discuss state flood aid with local officials.
At the direction of the governor’s executive order, 200 members of the Minnesota National Guard have been activated for flood duty in western Minnesota. Guard members are conducting levee patrols, monitoring water pumps and securing road blocks in the communities of Moorhead, Oakport and Georgetown, Minn.
Traci Goble, the mayor of Georgetown, said that members of the National Guard have been doing regular levee checks adjacent to flooded areas to ensure the safety of the town’s residents.
“They are giving our residents great peace of mind,” said Goble. “People can sleep better at night, knowing that Guard is out watching.”
As water levels rise, existing levee systems can be stressed to the point of giving out or allowing dangerous leakage. To combat this, and as a precaution related to likely precipitation, Goble said construction crews were working to raise levees by two feet.
Members of the Moorhead-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry have been conducting foot patrols along the bloated river’s newly-carved banks to monitor the performance of the levees and to provide early warning to local officials, should any concerns arise.
Dayton has been moving about recently with Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman and Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Kris Eide. Together, they have been monitoring flood threats across the state.