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Continued: So many lives turned upside down

This is the third time their house has been hit by disaster. In 1979, a fire destroyed the original house and they built a new one. That house was damaged in a flood 16 years ago.

On Monday, the Pettersens, like many in the town of 680 people, were wrestling with whether to rebuild or move out of the flood zone.

Lavonne Pettersen said she's tired of cleaning up, but her husband thinks they'll stay, if only because he doesn't see too many options.

"Where are you going to move? We survived two of them and the building's still here," Paul Pettersen said. "We've lived here for so long. This is home.

"What are you going to do?"

Staff writer Jeff Shelman contributed to this report. The writers can be reached at


Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared a state of emergency for six Minnesota counties that experienced torrential flooding over the weekend. They are Winona, Wabasha, Fillmore, Houston, Steele and Olmsted.


Winona County rescue workers will resume their search today for Jered Lorenz, 37, of Lewiston. And President Bush is expected to get a briefing when he comes to the Twin Cities today for a fundraiser for Sen. Norm Coleman.


The call for volunteers to help clean up southeastern Minnesota probably won't come for another day or two. The Red Cross, United Way and the Salvation Army are all accepting donations. A7

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