Pawlenty seeks federal pre-flood help
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty wants President Barack Obama to declare an emergency in advance of flooding.
Saying there is "a strong potential for severe spring flooding," Pawlenty asks the president for federal assistance "for emergency protective measures." Among specific requests are electric generators, drinking water, sandbagging machines, sandbags, sand, levee construction help, water control barriers and help to prepare emergency shelters.
The communities, in western and southern Minnesota, that Pawlenty said need help the most depleted financial reserves fighting floods last year
"Jurisdictions throughout the state are still working on larger project repairs to damaged infrastructure," Pawlenty wrote. "Final reimbursements for these projects will not be made until they are completed, which will take another year or more."
The National Weather Service says the Red and Minnesota river basins are in special danger this spring. Up to three times the normal precipitation fell across central and southern Minnesota.
Those two river basins are threatened by ice jams, the weather service predicts.
Specific counties Pawlenty wants federal officials to help are Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Chippewa, Clay, Lac Qui Parle, Lyon, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Sibley, Wilkin and Yellow Medicine. Also on the request is the Upper Sioux Agency.
Moorhead and Breckenridge are filling sandbags in preparation for spring flooding.
Pawlenty plans to visit Moorhead to check on flood preparations on Wednesday.