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Water flooded ditches and crept across roads in the New York Mills area, including the Highway 14/St. Lawrence Road at the 470th Avenue intersection in Otto Township as shown above Tuesday morning.

Area overland flooding washing out township roads

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An hour west of here may have the serious flooding but overland flooding is still causing some problems in East Otter Tail County.

The battle against high water has been, for the most part, an inconvenience in the East Otter Tail lake country, with high water pouring over numerous township roads.

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Rick Ehnert, a Newton Township supervisor, was out Tuesday inspecting roads around New York Mills. A few roads in Newton township were worse off than others. Ehnert set up barricades to close 380th Street east of town after water collapsed the road and exposed a culvert.

North of County Highway 56, 398th Street was closed due to large amounts of water running across that township road.

Bluff Creek is running high and fast around Bluffton and water has flooded the Bluffton Braves baseball field. The creek is spilled over its banks as it winds along Highway 10, and is running to the top of the culverts at 565th Avenue and 398th Street.

Otto Township supervisor Troy Salo was also keeping a close eye on roads Monday and Tuesday. There are a number of roads underwater with some washed out and closed.

"This is the most water I've ever seen in places," said Salo, who commented that he is a water junkie and has studied water in Otto Township since he was a kid.

Most townships in the NY Mills area, including Homestead and Butler, are reporting the same conditions.

Gravel has been hauled in some places to fix roads but townships will need to wait until the water recedes before major repair work is done.

With so much water running over roads, and some even closed at this point, Newton Township Chairman Chris Roberts urges motorists to use common sense when traveling the township roads.

In Perham Township, water had eroded some sections of road down several feet by the beginning of the week. Throughout East Otter Tail County, orange construction cones and neon flags were set up to mark flood danger spots for drivers.

Pumps at lake homes on low-lying lots are running around the clock. There are reports of wet basements as well.

With New York Mills residents reportedly dealing with water in their basements, city utilities workers are helping some pump water out. City workers are also pumping water from some low-lying areas where large amounts of water have accumulated, particularly in the commercial park and Hidden Trails.

NY Mills students join flood fight in Fargo

With the Red River rising, Fargo-Moorhead is seeking volunteers from throughout the region to help sandbag.

That's why there are several groups, most notably students from New York Mills High School and other area schools, that traveled west to the Fargo-Moorhead area this week to toss sandbags and help with flood relief in those two cities.

Squadrons of students departed from New York Mills and Perham this week to volunteer on the front lines of the Red River flood fight.

Eight students from the NYM junior class approached high school principal Blaine Novak and said they wanted to help with the Fargo-Moorhead flood relief. On Monday, the group tossed sandbags for 3 1/2 hours at a Fargo residence on the river. And on Tuesday, bus driver Larry Grieger donated his time and drove about 40 NYM High School seniors to Fargo-Moorhead to join in on the flood relief effort.

More students were expected to make the trip on Wednesday. Novak said students who miss school to help in Fargo-Moorhead are granted an excused day of absence.

Flood clean-up crews will be in demand

Volunteers by the thousands are lending a hand in the Red River Valley. But the work doesn't end when the water recedes.

Clean-up after a major flood is about as much work as the pre-flood labor, but usually with fewer volunteers.

More than 300 Minnesota Army National Guard soldiers from the Moorhead-based 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry have now been activated to support flood fighting activities in the Red River Valley.

The Minnesota National Guard, under the direction of the Governor, will provide assistance to civil authorities to support their flood fighting efforts.

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