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Ice chunks on a road in Crookston.

One of the effects of flooding in Minnesota is ice that breaks up from a river's winter ice cap. These chunks of ice--sometimes more than 18 inches thick--can end up on roads and in people's yards.

U launches Web site with flood information

By Pauline Oo

From eNews, April 6, 2006

Last week, the National Weather Service issued a flood warning in northwest and west central Minnesota, and Lysaker Gymnasium at the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC), served as an emergency shelter site when the city called for voluntary evacuations in several neighborhoods. The weather service warning has been extended to this Friday as the Red River is expected to crest close to 20 feet above flood stage in the Grand Forks area, about 25 miles from UMC. (On April 1, some UMC students filled and placed sandbags for up to seven hours to strengthen dikes in Crookston.)

To help homeowners handle flood response, cleanup, and safety issues, the University of Minnesota Extension Service launched a "Weather Impacts: Flood and Rain" Web site April 3.

Did you know?

The Red River borders North Dakota and Minnesota and flows north toward Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada. In April 1997, about 80,000 people in those areas, including 47,500 of the 50,000 residents of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, were evacuated. The Red River flooding made history books, cresting at 39.5 feet--more than 22 feet above flood stage--in Fargo, North Dakota. The crest then surged into East Grand Forks, Minnesota, pushing water levels to 54.2 feet, where flood stage is 28 feet. Another one for the record books: water rushed by at 10 feet per second as it passed Grand Forks, in spite of flat land.

Source: National Weather Service

Visitors can track current weather conditions and learn how to clean flooded homes, obtain safe drinking water from wells in flooded areas, and handle electrical equipment or operate gasoline- or diesel-powered pumps and generators. Additionally, the Web site offers tips on how to talk with children after a natural disaster strikes. Some of the information is available in the Spanish, Hmong, and Cambodian languages.

For more flood-related resources, read The Extension Disaster Handbook. For tips on how to recover data from flood-damaged computers, visit the Red River Trade Corridor at UMC.