Sandbagging against high water has taken a twist in Otter Tail County in northwest Minnesota, where residents and volunteers are trying to protect homes from landlocked lakes that have been continually swelling since at least last summer.
Several lakes in the Perham area have flooded nearby seasonal homes and access roads, as well as five paved county roads, said county engineer Rick West. Unlike recent river crests across Minnesota, the flooding lakes could keep residents out of the homes and keep the roads closed until July 4th, West added.
The county bought 300,000 sandbags last winter, and volunteers have filled about 100,000. One township in the county recently bought 25,000 filled sandbags from Moorhead, which recently withstood the fourth-highest crest on record on the Red River of the North.
The water is approaching the first floors of some homes. West said after ice disappeared from area lakes about a week ago, high winds have caused rises of about a foot or more from waves. The area has seen inordinate amounts of rain and snow over the past year.
"These lakes just keep creeping up," West said. "It doesn't bode well for us."