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Flooding Springs Up Around The Nation As Rain Falls, Rivers Rise Towns In Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Hit With High Water

Sun., May 19, 1996

A rising river spilled into streets and basements and forced several residents to evacuate a rain-drenched Minnesota town on Saturday. The state sent the National Guard to help.

“On the streets they’re wearing boots above their knees and it’s running into their boots,” said Mary Novak, whose home in Warren, Minn., is only 80 feet from the Snake River.

In the West, residents of low-lying areas around Fallon, Nev., piled sandbags as water edged toward the top of the Lahontan Reservoir dam, threatening to spill unchecked into the Carson River.

Water being released through the reservoir’s gates already had caused minor flooding in an area of nine homes near Fallon, 60 miles east of Reno. The water was expected to wash over the top of the dam overnight, threatening scattered rural homes and agricultural areas.

Flood warnings also were in effect through Sunday for people living along northern Nevada’s Truckee and Walker rivers, swollen by rain and rapidly melting snow in the Sierra Nevada.

Warren, Minn., a town of about 1,800 people, had gotten heavy rain on Thursday and Friday.

Police Chief Dwayne Kostrzewski said the Snake River was 6 feet above flood stage by afternoon, and that if no more rain fell the stream was expected to rise an additional foot.

Elsewhere, a flood warning for Indiana’s St. Joseph River was extended through Sunday in the northeastern corner of the state. One woman died Friday in flooding near Hamilton.

High water had mostly receded in Ohio, where more than 7 inches fell Friday on Williams County. About 40 people forced out of their homes had been allowed to return, said Bryan police dispatcher Kevin Hager.

Flooding also had ebbed in West Virginia. Three people died and at least 2,900 were forced from their homes around the state on Thursday and Friday.

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