KBJR

The flooding in International Falls has officially surpassed record levels from 1950.

The community there is working hard to prevent damage, but they can only do so much on their own.

That’s why Saturday, Governor Tim Walz and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith surveyed the areas affected.

“This is pretty historic flooding,” Walz said. “We got a lot of houses, we got some public infrastructure that’s still under threat, and this is going to go on for quite some time.”

Officials in International Falls said water levels are expected to continue rising through mid-to-late-June.

Klobuchar said to secure funding from the federal government, there must be over $9 million in damage.

She said she expects that number will be quickly reached.

“Senator Smith and I wanted to come here ourselves because we have to make the case to the President for getting the federal aid,” Klobuchar said.

They plan to apply for federal relief funding as soon as the damage is quantified, even as flooding continues.

Recovery efforts are expected to last through at least November.

“Long-term recovery is where the federal government can really be a strong partner with emergency assistance that will help local communities repair the damaged infrastructure and helping everybody get back on their feet,” said Senator Smith.

Assistance that local leaders said is much appreciated.

Despite the tragedy that continues to plague the community, they’re staying strong.

“We’re going to keep fighting this battle all the way to the end,” said Emergency Management Director Willy Kostiuk. “This production that you see here is going to go until no one needs anymore.”

Governor Walz has sent the National Guard, Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Department of Corrections to assist with sandbagging and relief efforts.

He said the state will continue to support those affected by the flooding until it is no longer needed.

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