Bad weather and bigger floods

Minnesota winter clings on with a blast that fends off spring. Flood predictions grow darker and actual flooding continues as snow and rain fall in much of the state. One worker is presumed dead after trying to clear an ice jam on the Minnesota River.

Flood report

Rain adds to flood predictions

As city workers busily prepared a berm this week to keep Minnesota River floodwaters from damaging homes, it was water from the Minnesota sky that proved to be a bigger problem (Mankato Free Press).

Rivers continue to rise

Cottonwood expected to crest Thursday; Minnesota up 2 feet in 24 hours (New Ulm Journal).

Flood levee breaks in Brownton

A temporary flood levee built in the city of Brownton broke through overnight, city officials say.City officials say the levee broke overnight in two separate areas.The city has put a call out for pumps (KARE).

MnDOT worker presumed dead after being swept away by Minnesota River

Straight River rises, Owatonna declares state of emergency

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City officials in Owatonna are declaring a state of emergency.Mayor Tom Kuntz says the move will help the city and Steele County work together more easily (KIMT).

Also clicking on MN Today

Wally the Beer Man is free at last

A sting by police failed to stop the flow of ice cold beer from Minnesota’s favorite beer man, Walter “Wally” McNeil. McNeil was charged with selling alcohol to a minor at a Twins game last year. A jury acquit McNeil of the charges. Asked what he plans to do now that he’s a free man, McNeil told reporters he needed to “go home and walk my dog” (Star Tribune).

The courage to sit, with Couric

Former Minnesota governor tells Katie Couric he was ‘honored’ to be considered for 2008 GOP VP slot. Couric’s interview in 2008 with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was seen as a negative turning point for the McCain-Palin campaign (CBS).

A town of 10,000 people

Finally, 10,000. Alexandria’s official population has topped the 10,000 mark – a goal that city leaders have been pursuing for decades. It can help the city get more state and federal aid and add to its economic clout by appearing on the “radar” for new companies (Alexandria Echo Press).

MN Sounds

Two Harbors: Split Rock Lighthouse

Marc Sanchez writes: “One of the most distinct sounds at Split Rock comes from high in the lighthouse tower, where the Fresnel lens (the “s” is silent in Fresnel) is wound. The lens is actually two pieces of thick, ribbed glass that slowly spin and project prisms up to 20 miles across Lake Superior. Two convex pieces of glass top a giant, threaded spool attached to a series of counter-weights, which slowly get lowered to turn the lens.

“To keep the spool turning, the lighthouse keeper has to hand-crank the weights back up every two hours. The crank is inserted into a case that holds a series of cogs, similar to a grandfather clock. To ensure the lens rotated through the night, lighthouse keepers split overnight shifts among the three of them, who lived there.”

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