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Warnings for flooding in Aitkin, Fort Ripley

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Flood warnings have been issued for the Mississippi River at Aitkin and Fort Ripley, with snow melt and rain resulting in high river levels and possible minor flooding later in the week. 

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The National Weather Service in Duluth on Sunday morning reported the river at Fort Ripley was at 9.7 feet and was expected to eclipse the 10-foot flood stage late Monday or early Tuesday. By Friday, the river in Fort Ripley is expected to reach 11.4 feet, resulting in flooding of rural areas near Fort Ripley in Crow Wing and Morrison County. 

“We’re keeping an eye on it and if they predict more moisture we may do some precautionary things,” said John Bowen, Crow Wing County Emergency Management director. “For the most part it’s looking pretty good right now. We’re not thinking anything major will happen at this time. The river would need to rise 2 more feet before it affects a residence.”

The Mississippi River at Aitkin on Sunday afternoon was a 11.46 feet and is forecast to rise above the 12-foot flood stage Monday afternoon. The National Weather Service in Duluth is predicting the Mississippi River in Aitkin to crest at 14.3 feet by Friday with minor flooding to some area roads and farmland.

Aitkin County Sheriff Scott Turner said, based on the weather service’s Mississippi River forecast, nothing special was planned at this time. 

“At 12 feet all we see is minor flooding of farm fields and at 14.3 feet there may be some secondary roads impacted, but overall it’s nothing really significant,” Turner said.

A flood warning also remained in effect Sunday for the Long Prairie River at Long Prairie in Todd County. On Sunday morning, the Long Prairie River was at the 6-foot flood stage and minor flooding was occurring, the National Weather Service in Chanhassen reported. The Long Prairie River is expected to peak at 6.5 feet Tuesday and fall below flood stage on Saturday.

There’s a possibility of rain throughout the week, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth — 20 percent on Monday, 30 percent Tuesday night through Friday night and a 20 percent Saturday.

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at matt.erickson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5857. 

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