Kabetogama desperate for volunteers as floodwaters rise

Some 200 lakefront properties are in danger.

People filling bags with sand
Volunteers work to fill sandbags to protect Kabetogama from rising floodwaters.
Contributed / Kabetogama Township
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KABETOGAMA TOWNSHIP — Residents of far northern St. Louis County are asking for volunteers to help with sandbagging efforts as rising floodwaters have the potential to cause significant damage in this small community.

The water level in Kabegotama is "well over flood stage" and is expected to continue rising in the coming days, as a late-arriving spring has led to rapid snowmelt accompanied by record rainfall in recent weeks. The flooding is expected to exceed the level seen in 2014 and may even reach the record set in 1950.

People loading sandbags in back of truck
Volunteers load sandbags into a truck for placement along properties near Kabetogama Lake.
Contributed / Kabetogama Township

"Local volunteers, along with some Voyageurs National Park staff, have been working hard, bagging sand and delivering bags around the community since Tuesday, May 10," a township news release said. "Physical exhaustion is setting in and many more days of work ahead until the water level peaks. Most docks are under water now with many cabins, homes, resorts and other infrastructure at risk. Outside help is needed."

Ranier residents sandbagging homes and cabins as lakes and rivers flood over their banks.

Situated on Kabetogama Lake, roughly 20 miles southeast of International Falls, the township is home to approximately 200 lakefront properties, including 21 resorts.

Volunteers are asked to report to Kabetogama Town Hall, 9707 Gappa Road, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. — bringing gloves, shovels and inclement weather gear, if possible. More information is available by calling 218-875-2082.

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