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Mankato history village now center of flood fight

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MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — Federal officials say a cluster of replica buildings where an annual Minnesota history festival is held sits in a flood zone and must go.

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The Star Tribune reports the buildings are owned by 75-year-old philanthropist Jack McGowan. Mankato's annual History Fest is held in the pretend village at the confluence of the Le Sueur and Blue Earth rivers.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz calls the site a "treasured community resource."

But county officials say at least eight buildings must be removed because they violate federal flood plain rules, and if they stay, the county could be suspended from the National Flood Insurance Program.

That means about 60 Blue Earth County residents could lose their federally backed flood insurance. County Administrator Robert Meyer says he has to take the threat seriously.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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