In the Spotlight

News & Features
The Flood of 2001: Rising Worries
An MPR Online News Special
Residents along rivers all across Minnesota are watching the weather, and bracing for high waters. In some places, the floodwaters this year threaten to meet or surpass those reached in 1997.

Slideshow Gallery

A Reprieve for Granite Falls

Breckenridge's Fight

FEMA's 'Victory Tour'

Minnesota River tour

Links and Resources

Ramsey County 'Flood Cam'
Pictures updated every five minutes.
Department of Natural Resources
Latest flood forecasts from the DNR
National Weather Service
North Central River Forecast Center
Emergency and road alerts
Department of Public Safety
Updated flood information
American Red Cross
To volunteer
Salvation Army
To volunteer
To volunteer


St. Croix, Mississippi rivers hitting second crests
A main road into downtown St. Peter is underwater as the Minnesota River crested Friday for the second time.
(MPR Photo/Darby Laing and Elizabeth Stawicki)
The Mississippi River peaked Monday for the second time this month, reaching the third-highest crest recorded ever recorded in Minnesota's capital city. The St. Croix River peaked over the weekend, and the Minnesota River is starting to fall after last week's peak. Still, there's a long way to go before the region dries out. Farmers along the Minnesota River have been particularly hard hit. Take an aerial tour of the river (RealAudio 7.0 or higher needed).


For the most part, communities along the Mississippi River have averted catastrophic flood damage, thanks in part to timely dike construction and sandbagging. State and federal offices are only now adding up the economic impact of the high waters, and one official estimates the bill from property damage alone will top $11 million. But that doesn't tell the full tale. Businesses that rely on the river to move raw materials or finished products are suffering.Read more.


This golf course flooded when a sandbag dike gave way. See more imagesfrom FEMA Director Joseph Albaugh's tour of the region.
(MPR Photo/Dan Gunderson)
Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Joe Albaugh toured flooded areas in the Red River Valley on April 16. Albaugh viewed flooded areas, and several FEMA funded projects that are successfully preventing flooding this year. The FEMA director made no promise of federal aid, but praised Minnesota and North Dakota officials for preventing serious flood damage this year.

Albaugh's whirlwind tour of Fargo Moorhead took him past large temporary earthen dikes that keep the Red River at bay, and to areas where the river now flows freely over land that four years ago, homeowners fought fiercely to protect. Listen online.


For more than two weeks, the houseboat residents on Latch Island have watched the Mississippi rise to its highest levels in three decades. Positioned between Winona and the Wisconsin border, and surrounded by river and other flood-plain islands, Latch Island serves as a year 'round anchor for an estimated 30 houseboats. Many in the unusual community plan to wait out the flood waters as the river prepares to crest on Wednesday. Listen to more.

Despite the high water and swift current most of the Latch Island inhabitants plan to stick out the flood waters, and many continue to travel up to Winona by boat virtually every day.
(MPR Photo/Erin Galbally)

Moorhead Mayor Morris Lanning has a list of heartwarming stories of neighbors helping neighbors from the flood of '01. Listen online.


Minnesotans trying to keep their cities dry this spring are fighting an old fight. Attempts to control floods are as old as civilization, with mixed results. Floods are a natural part of spring, and some authorities say when left uncontained, they provide a number of environmental benefits. MPR's Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Dan Dieterman, a Mississippi River biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who says a number of good things occur during a flood.
Listen to the interview.