Sandbag Operations Winding Down, National Guard Demobilizing
Rainy Lake has crested today and is expected to begin receding between now and June 20, barring no severe weather events. With a decrease in demand for sandbags over the last week and a stockpile of 100,000 filled sandbags for the community at the ready, active sandbagging operations at Kerry Park are shutting down for the time being. National Guard Members who have been working on local flood response over the last month are demobilizing this evening.
“We are incredibly grateful to the National Guard and every staff member and volunteer who have got us to this point in flood response,” said Sheriff Perryn Hedlund. “It is absolutely a relief to see Rainy Lake crest and what appears to be a reduction; however, we remain cautiously optimistic and will remain vigilant as we can’t be sure what impacts the weather could hold and we are not out of the water just yet. Conditions could change quickly, but for now this is a welcome step in the right direction.”
The Emergency Operations Team will have forklift drivers at Kerry Park from 8 am -4 pm this week to assist in loading vehicles and trailers for those who are still in need of sandbags, based on demand. A supply of sand and bags is also on hand should operations need to be ramped up again, but at this time the 100,000 sandbags on hand are expected to exceed demand.
The American Red Cross and Salvation Army organizations who have been a key partner in emergency operations to-date, will remain on site and available to residents for mental health, first aid and emotional support, for the immediate future and will gradually reduce their footprint based on demand. The groups have the ability to quickly ramp-up Temporary Evacuation Points, sheltering and food operations if needed.
The Emergency Operations Center will continue to monitor conditions closely and remain active for continuous community disaster response.