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Area law enforcement, including the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, had launched at least three boats to help with the rescues.
"Unbelievable," said Audrey Glassman of Minneapolis, who left her work shift at nearby Spoonriver restaurant to survey the scene. "You'll never cross a bridge again without thinking about this."
Red Cross volunteer Eric Pone guessed 100 people came through the Holiday Inn Metrodome Wednesday searching for word on loved ones. "For some folks they're dealing with a sense of relief because they're loved ones are OK. Others haven't heard anything."
Ian Anderson rode his bike to the Holiday Inn to look for his girlfriend, Allysa Rocklitz, 24, of Burnsville, a waitress at the Fine Line club in downtown Minneapolis. "I can't remember a single instance when I called her and wasn't able to instantly talk to her," he said. "She calls me all the time and all of a sudden she's not there.
"Hopefully, I'll get a call tonight. I'll be up all night, I'm sure of that."
--The Associated Press contributed.
Staff writers Curt Brown, Tim Campbell, Joe Christensen, Terry Collins, H.J. Cummins, Pat Doyle, Kevin Duchschere, Tom Ford, Kevin Giles, Pat Lopez, Maura Lerner, Bill McAuliffe, Pamela Miller, Claude Peck, Joy Powell, James Shiffer, Jim Foti and Doug Tice contributed to this story, which was written by Paul Levy.