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Minnesota remains underwater as residents await help from FEMA, state agencies

(The Center Square) – Throughout the weekend, FEMA is expected to be knocking on doors of Minnesota families affected by the torrential flooding across the state, as waters are expected to hit a peak Saturday morning.

FEMA manager Tom Sivak said staff members, dressed in uniform, are already going house to house estimating water damage. FEMA is being deployed as Gov. Tim Walz applies for a federal emergency declaration, which could provide the state with millions in recovery assistance.

In the meantime, the governor encourages affected residents to save all receipts and take photos of any property damage.

“Right now we are in the assessment phase,” Walz said. “Until some of the water recedes, we won’t have the full picture of that.”

As of Thursday morning, more than 20 rivers had hit major flood levels, leaving nearly half of Minnesota literally underwater. Both the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers have reached historic levels and are expected to rise higher over the next few days.

“Been in water rescue my entire life. This is some of the most difficult conditions I’ve ever seen,” said John Cunningham, assistant commissioner of emergency services for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. “Stay out of the water. Don’t go anywhere near it. Things can change.”

Perhaps the most notable flood region right now is the Rapidan Dam, where the Blue Earth River has destroyed part of the concrete barrier and even a home along the riverbank. Other affected areas include St. Paul, Washington County, Stillwater, Shakopee, Chaska and Waterford.

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