Officials keep close eye on flood potential

Officials are keeping an eye on rivers like the Mississippi, shown here at the park in Otsego.

by Joni Astrup
Associate editor
With snow melting and winter slipping away, area officials are keeping a close eye on the potential for spring flooding.
“Things right now are quiet and I’m hoping that they will continue that way,” Elk River Fire Chief T. John Cunningham said Thursday. He also serves as the city’s director of emergency management.
The city of Elk River has been encouraging residents to make sure they are prepared for any potential flooding, and has handed out 500 sandbags so far. Sandbags are still available. See details below.
Cunningham said the melt has been happening gradually.
“We’re continuing to just monitor the situation and we’ll adapt as needed,” he said.
South of the Mississippi, Otsego City Administrator Mike Robertson and Hassan Town Administrator Bill Craig both said Thursday that no flooding has occurred in their communities yet.
“We’re obviously keeping our eye on the Mississippi,” Robertson said.
Sandbags are available for residents of both communities. See below for more information.
There also were no flooding problems reported in Zimmerman.
Here’s a rundown on where to get sandbags.

Elk River
Each Elk River household or business may pick up 100 sandbags at no cost at Elk River City Hall, 13065 Orono Parkway, during business hours. Additional bundles of 50 bags can be purchased at City Hall for $11.
Photo identification displaying an Elk River address is required to pick up sandbags. Business representatives must bring written proof of address such as a utility bill.
To purchase more than 500 sandbags or for after-hours pickup, call 763-635-1100.
Residents are responsible for filling and placing sandbags. A limited quantity of sand is available to Elk River residents and businesses at the Elk River Public Works Facility, 19000 Proctor Rd. Sand is located near the compost facility and intended for filling sandbags on-site.
In addition, City Hall has a list of sand suppliers.

Hassan Township
Sandbags are available to residents by calling the Town Office at 428-4100. Small batches will be provided without charge. “To date we have not received requests for large numbers (in the hundreds); if we did, we would suggest they purchase them directly,” according to Craig.

Otsego
Sandbags are available at Otsego City Hall, 8899 Nashua Ave. The cost is 30 sandbags for $10, plus tax. Sand will also be available for people to use to fill the bags themselves.
City Hall is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-noon Friday.

Sherburne County
Sherburne County has sandbags available to residents at a cost of 29 cents per bag. Sandbags are available for pick-up at both Sherburne County Public Works buildings, located at 425 Jackson Ave., Elk River and 10705 125th Ave., Becker.
Sandbags can be picked up Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Residents needing sandbags after hours should contact the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-433-5245.

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