On Monday the second of May at 9 am Sherriff Perryn Hedlund hosted a meeting between Law Enforcement planners and representatives from the Rainy Lake Property Owners Association at the Koochiching County Law Enforcement center to discuss planning for a possible high-water event on Rainy Lake in the upcoming weeks. People in attendance from Law Enforcement were Sherriff Hedlund, Chief Deputy Jon Froemke, and Emergency management coordinator Willi Kostiuk. Representing the Rainy Lake Property Association was Chairman Dan Vellieux, vice chair Eric Johnson, and board member Tom Dougherty.
The group met to discuss the likelihood, start planning for, and coordinate efforts for a high-water event that could possibly impact properties on Rainy Lake and throughout the Rainy River Watershed during the upcoming weeks. Deep snowpack that contributed to significant spring runoff and much rainfall throughout the watershed over the last week has led to high spring water levels on the Rainy Lake and Namakan Basins.
In preparation for a high-water event, sand bagging material needs, and staging areas were identified and will be secured in the upcoming days. Volunteer coordination, material and equipment, ongoing communication, and equipment resources to help properties, including island properties, impacted by possible flooding were other items that were discussed. Properties at the greatest risk of impact will be identified and the overall impact to properties on Rainy Lake and Ranier will be a high priority.
The group will continue to meet on a weekly basis and give weekly updates to membership and the general public. Sherriff Hedlund finished the meeting by saying, “What we want to do is have all of the planning in place in the event of flooding like we’ve seen in the past, hopefully it doesn’t happen but if it does, we will be prepared.”