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Residents Plucked From Flooded Minn. Homes

June 14, 2002|From Reuters

ROSEAU, Minn. -- Exhausted residents were rescued from their flooded homes Thursday, and National Guard helicopters air-dropped sandbags to those still fighting record floods that inundated much of Roseau, authorities said.

More than half of the 2,800 residents of the northwestern Minnesota town hard by the Canadian border boarded National Guard trucks to be evacuated, said Roseau Police Chief Ward Anderson.

Some holdouts remained to battle the record-high Roseau River, swollen by a foot of rain that fell over the weekend.

"There's a lake around my house--and it's not beachfront property," Anderson joked.

So far, sandbaggers aided by construction crews have managed to save the town's school complex, its hospital and its leading employer, Polaris Industries Inc. Polaris, which makes snowmobiles, provided all-terrain vehicles to those who needed to ford the waters.

A thin drizzle added to the gloom Thursday, as boats patrolled the surrounding region of sugar beet and wheat farms, much of it submerged. Thirteen northern Minnesota counties were under a state emergency.

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