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Beltrami County declares state of emergency due to flooding impacts

Due to overland flooding continuing to impact the county with additional repairs needed, the Beltrami County Board Chair, Tim Sumner, has declared Beltrami County to be in a state of emergency, the release said

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Beltrami County (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI — After several days of wet conditions, Beltrami County has issued a state of emergency due to flooding.

Beltrami County has been impacted by flooding due to heavy rainfall and late snowmelt after several feet of snow during winter.

According to a release from Beltrami County Sheriff Ernie Beitel, many gravel county and township roads have been impacted by significant frost heaves, snowmelt and persistent precipitation in the month of April, resulting in substantially deteriorated road conditions.

"In the early morning hours of April 23, many areas of the county received more than three inches of rainfall from thunderstorms that combined with snowmelt resulting in considerable overland flooding across much of Beltrami County," Beitel said in the release.

The city of Bemidji experienced flooding in the lower level of city hall due to the storm drainage system being overwhelmed from heavy rainfall, and numerous roadways experienced culvert washouts and roadway washouts.

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"Preliminary estimates indicate tens of thousands of dollars of damage and expense related to the emergency response to flooding," the release said. "It is likely that Beltrami County will exceed the threshold to qualify for state disaster assistance through the state of Minnesota."

Due to overland flooding continuing to impact the county with additional repairs needed, the Beltrami County Board Chair, Tim Sumner, has declared Beltrami County to be in a state of emergency, the release said

This enables the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office Division of Emergency Management and other county departments to respond to the flooding with increased resources and pursue disaster assistance reimbursement for expenses and damages to public infrastructure in Beltrami County.

Local governments and agencies who have had damages or expenses related to the flooding should report them to Emergency Management Director Christopher Muller by email at chris.muller@co.beltrami.mn.us.

The Beltrami County Board will have a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 29, in the county board room to discuss the emergency declaration.

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