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Published February 21, 2011, 05:05 PM

Oslo, MN, Residents Ready for Flood Fight

People who live in and around Oslo, MN, are getting ready for flooding. One man living on the outskirts of town is surrounded by water each year, but doesn't let it get him down.

People who live in and around Oslo, MN, are getting ready for flooding.

One man living on the outskirts of town is surrounded by water each year, but doesn't let it get him down.

Carl Osowski has lived in his home six miles outside of Oslo for almost 20 years. Each spring his farmland fills with water.

Osowski's father lived there before him and built a ring dike in the 1960's to protect the property. But to get to town during a flood, the family has to go by boat.

"I don't know how we'd get out because on days that it's windy, it's white caps out there, you can't go in the boat any day you want to go," Osowski said.

Osowski is not alone. People living in Oslo have been blocked in when the only roads in and out of town go under water. The city is protected by a ring levy, but some people leave anyway.

"Last year people had actually moved out of town for the week. It kind of hurts us because the flood's still here. We have to maintain the dikes, we have to maintain our emergency operation system," Oslo Mayor Scott Kosmatka said.

People around town are already getting ready for the fight to make sure their properties remain untouched.

"Getting your generators ready, getting your pumps ready, having everything set to go a month ahead of time so when it does hit, you're ready to go," Kosmatka said.

And for those like Osowski, who are surrounded by water, volunteer firefighters have an airboat to ensure everyone on the outskirts of town stays safe.

"They bring out our mail maybe twice a week and if you would have an emergency, they could come out and help," Osowski said.

Even though he ends up surrounded by water, Osowski doesn't buy flood insurance.

It's because his home is 2.7 feet higher than the 100 year flood.

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