WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 18, 2010, 10:34 AM

National Weather Service raises its flood outlook for Wilkin County

Breckenridge, Minn. (WDAY TV) - Bad news tonight for people in the southern valley as they get a glimpse of the latest flood forecast. WDAY 6 News has learned the National Weather Service is upping its flood outlook for the area.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

The outlook isn't getting any better. The last prediction gave a 26 percent chance of major flooding in Wahpeton Breckenridge. That's above 14 feet. Last year, it reached 17.5 feet. Tonight, we are finding out NWS is more than doubling that percentage, when it releases new projections tomorrow.

Wilkin County Emergency Manager Tom Richels is getting the troubling news. News he finds very worrisome.

“So this year with water from the south and from the east, it's more concerning than last year at this time.”

With more water in the southern valley, Richels says that likely means more water up north.

“We kind of set the table down here for what's going to happen up north. People watch what we do.”

Tonight, community leaders in Wilkin County are starting to prepare for a flood. The county is getting its clay ready. Five places closer to Breckenridge with more than 100 thousand yards to build levees.

“The latest outlook has us at 50 percent at 14 feet, 10 percent at 18 feet.”

The county is increasing its amount of sand from last year, by 12 hundred yards. It will start hauling sand next week to stockpile throughout towns.

“One of the major drawbacks last year was we were short on sand and bags so it was rush-rush.”

Last year, 87 thousand sandbags were filled in Wilkin. 25 hundred are on hand now. Supplies and sand will be available to anyone this year. The county will fill and transfer them, but communities will have to place them.