WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 06, 2011, 11:02 AM

Farmsteads near Hendrum prepare for the worst

Hendrum, Minn. (WDAY TV) - The Wild Rice is rising fast. Now it is over 29-feet. Farmsteads around Hendrum are preparing for the worst. One homeowner is only days away from a possible evacuation.

About a mile north of Hendrum, Minnesota, John Aas fights flood after flood. For most, warmer temperatures mean a return to spring, but for Aas, it just means stomach aches.

JOHN AAS - Hendrum, MN: “It gets to be tiresome. You hate to see spring time because you got this bad feeling in your stomach.”

Aas has been through this before, packing away bikes and clearing his garage. In 2009, he stayed at his daughter’s house for six weeks. But after two decades of flood fighting, he's fed up.

JOHN AAS - Hendrum, MN: “This will be my last year. You can't keep expecting people to help you year after year.”

As the city of Hendrum fights the Wild Rice River, which as you can see is rising very quickly, just to the north the city of Halstad is fighting the Red River.

TOM MARONEY - Flood Coordinator, Halstad, MN: “We're not in danger, in my opinion, of going under or not. But we do have closures we have to take care of, we have to close roads. We have quite a few things to take care of.”

Halstad is surrounded by a permanent dike that protects from the Red River up to 45 feet. Flood officials are confident the city will be safe, but wary of this weekend.

Maroney: “That big concern of course is going to be that weather system that is coming. It couldn't come at a much worse time, water is continuing to flow.”

The city will continue to build on top of the 12-thousand sandbags it has ready to go. As for Aas, now it's just a waiting game as the water creeps closer and closer. Halstad expects it will have to close Highway 75 just south of town in the next few days.