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Wendy Reuer, Published February 12 2011

Minnesota politicians promise flood support

The city of Moorhead received a promise of support from leaders at the state and national levels Friday as it prepares for flooding in 2011.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Gov. Mark Dayton were at the Moorhead City Council chambers to make a promise that the city is not alone in flood fighting this year.

“I guess the benefit of having floods every year was you get much better at preparing,” Franken said. “That’s really the only benefit I could think of.”

Earlier in the day, the two men visited Crookston, Minn.

Along with the two politicians, representatives from the Minnesota National Guard, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA discussed plans with Mayor Mark Voxland.

Minnesota National Guard Adjunct Gen. Richard Nash said his troops will be ready to assist in the flood flight despite a planned deployment of 2,400 National Guardsmen in May.

However, Voxland said he is hoping the city will be able to say “thanks for being prepared, but it looks like we won’t need you.”

The National Weather Service has predicted a 20 percent chance the Red River will reach the record-making 2009 flood levels this spring.

The city of Moorhead will begin next week preparing at least 1 million sandbags.

Friday’s stop marked the first time in the 39 days since he took office Dayton has visited Moorhead.

However, he vowed to be present in Moorhead during flooding.

“I will promise my presence here,” he said.

Dayton said he is impressed by the level of teamwork and compromise the Fargo-Moorhead area has achieved in fighting floods.

“It’s just so important that we all pull together,” Dayton said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530