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Crookston ice jam breaks; Red Lake River dropping after quick 4-foot rise

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Crookston is feeling a bit easier about the Red Lake River today after a three-mile-long ice jam northeast of the city broke early this morning and quickly -- but temporarily -- caused a 4-foot rise in floodwaters.

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The huge ice jam broke about 3 a.m. and had been stuck there for about three days, Police Chief Tim Motherway said.

"We have to contend with ice jams every year. That's the main problem here," Motherway said. "We were a little nervous this morning."

As the ice moved through Crookston, the water behind it rose quickly from 19.5 feet to 23.62 feet this morning before beginning to gradually drop Motherway said.

The city's flood protection is good to 27 feet.

The rapid rise this morning still fell short of the Red Lake River's crest of 24.06 feet at Crookston Saturday, Motherway said.

The Red Lake River is expected to continuing falling to below 20 feet today, at which time Crookston's emergency operations center will close, Motherway said.

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