Walz authorizes Minnesota National Guard to support emergency flood operations

Published 7:23 am Sunday, June 23, 2024

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Following heavy rainfall across Southern Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz on Saturday declared a peacetime emergency, authorizing the Minnesota National Guard to be available to provide support for emergency flood operations as areas across the state experience extreme flood conditions.

The Minnesota National Guard is in close communication with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management team to support communities across the state. The National Guard is authorized to provide support via Emergency Executive Order 24-05 in the event other state or local agencies are unable to meet the demands of the flood conditions.

The state has received a request for National Guard assistance from the Le Sueur County Sheriff for logistics and operations support. Guard members are prepared to mobilize as early as today, if needed.

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“Across the state, intense rain has had catastrophic effects. Flooding has left entire communities under feet of water, causing severe damage to property and numerous road closures. As flooding continues, the National Guard is ready to step up to help our neighbors,” Walz said. “Their response will provide invaluable support that will be critical in ensuring the safety of Minnesotans during this difficult time.”

 In Le Sueur County, the City of Waterville and surrounding community have experienced approximately 14-18 inches of rainfall. In lakes Tetonka and Sakatah, and the Cannon River, water has reached uncontrollable levels. Residents have been evacuated and the flood has already caused significant damage.

 Waterville city staff, Le Sueur County Emergency Management, the Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office, and volunteers have been working for several days to mitigate the effects of the severe weather. Continuously rising water levels following additional weekend rainfall has necessitated additional manpower and resources.