Officials in Oslo in far northwest Minnesota say they’re “pretty relaxed,” even though Red River flooding has cut off highways in and out of the community of about 300. Mayor Erika Martens says, “We are the poster child for cities to go through the pains and to work with the State of Minnesota and the D-N-R and Army Corps of Engineers and all the other entities involved to get a permanent levee system.” Martens indicates they’re monitoring to make sure there are no trouble spots. The Red River crested over the weekend at nearly 38 feet, about six inches shy of the record, but the levee around Oslo is built to protect to 42 feet. The water level is slowly falling and Martens says it will be days before debris is cleared and roadways are inspected and re-opened.
Martens says about half the population of Oslo has temporarily left. “We make sure that those who need to get out, get out — before we become an island. We really push that. If they don’t feel comfortable, we want ’em to go,” says Martens, adding that those who remain have stepped up and it’s businesses as usual, just on a little smaller scale.