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Flooding possible for Red Eye, Crow Wing and Leaf Rivers

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High water table conditions, above normal rainfall over the past year, and heavy snowfall this winter may result in significant spring flooding for Wadena County. This would be particularly true for those residents near the Red Eye, Crow Wing and Leaf Rivers in the county. Residents are urged to take flood precautions and to prepare for the possibility of spring flooding. Even in areas that do not typically experience flooding may be vulnerable this spring. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, some recommendations are:

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• Install and maintain a sump pump.

• Have your furnace, water heater and electrical panels elevated (if susceptible to flooding).

• Install "check valves" in sewer traps to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home.

• Construct barriers (levees, beams, flood walls) to stop floodwater from entering buildings - call Otter Tail County Land & Resource Department at (218) 998-8095 for information on proper construction.

• Seal walls in basement with waterproofing compounds to avoid seepage.

• Anchor fuel tanks (indoors and outdoors) to prevent contamination and damage to property.

• Familiarize yourself with the process of turning off the electricity and gas to your home (this may be necessary in the case of a flood).

• Move important documents, valuables, and irreplaceable items to a second story (if possible).

• Store household chemicals (from your home, garage, and outbuildings) above flood levels.

• Consider purchasing flood insurance - keep in mind that many policies require a waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect, so do not postpone your purchase.

Always have emergency supply kits on hand, including:

1. A three day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and non-perishable food (with a manual can opener), and infant formula (if applicable).

2. A first aid kit (which includes prescription medications) and personal hygiene products.

3. A battery powered radio, flashlight and extra batteries.

4. A waterproof container filled with dry clothing and dry matches.

If you have experienced flood problems in the past, or anticipate problems, it is a good idea to have an ample supply of sandbags on hand and the ability to get sand when needed. As spring flooding nears, suppliers become quite busy, so your readiness becomes more important.

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