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82-year-old Ernest Grotte of Finley uses a spade for balance as he crosses the Tolna Coulee before Monday's rally. Grotte, a retired farmer, said he came to the rally to support farmers in the Devils Lake basin who are being flooded out . Herald photo by Eric Hylden.

1.000 flooded farmers rally to reclaim land from flooded Devils Lake basin

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RURAL TOLNA, N.D. -- Ernest Grotte traveled 60 miles from his home Monday, shovel in tow, to walk through the marshy wetland of the Tolna Coulee and to turn over a spadeful or two of mud.

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"I want to help get rid of this mess," the 82-year-old farmer said. "I have a lot of friends up here who are really suffering because of this flood. They've been talking about this for 10 years or more. And nothing's gotten done. Now, it looks like nature might take care of it for us."

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