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Forum News Service, Published June 10 2013

Grafton cleaning up again after rains

GRAFTON, N.D. — The annual spring cleanup in Grafton began Monday — for the second time in three weeks.

The original cleanup week started and ended May 20, cut short by periods of heavy rains that have dumped 10 to 15 inches on Walsh County over the past three weeks and have resulted in the city’s second flood emergency this spring. Grafton City Council made the emergency declaration Monday.

While an emergency levee system kept the Park River from spilling out of its banks last month, residents in some areas of town have been dealing with water in basements and sewer backups, according to Grafton City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann.

As a result, piles of debris, including basement carpeting and other materials, now line the streets of this town of 4,200 about 40 miles northwest of Grand Forks.

“Typically, we try to stay away from construction debris,” Ziegelmann said of the annual project. “This year we’re allowing anything. We’re doing whatever we can do to help with the cleanup.”