Soldiers assist with flood fight in Minnesota as 2 vehicles get stuck in waters

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OSLO, Minn. (Valley News Live) There are only a handful of ways to get in and out of a town in Marshall County that is surrounded by flood waters. One is in a military-style Humvee.

About 35 Minnesota National Guard members were in Oslo Saturday after Governor Tim Walz activated them. Their mission is to assist local law enforcement in the flood fight.

“You don't really feel the water pushing you at all. But, you just got to drive slow and watch where you're driving,” Spc. Corey Ward said

Oslo is a town of more than 300 people that’s known for flooding. It sits along the Red River near the Minnesota border with North Dakota.

“The river kind of makes an S around the city itself,” Ward said. “The river almost completely surrounds the city with the way it meanders.”

Lt. Col. Bryce Erickson was in Oslo in 2011 when the town had flooded. He said this time around Oslo is better prepared to handle the water.

“The difference is they have more built up in permanent levees as opposed to 2011,” Erickson said. “However, the road coming in [on} highway 1 looks about the same as it did in 2011.”

That road is flooded and a closed road sign welcomes those who try driving into Oslo.

Marshall County Sheriff Jason Boman said his biggest issue is reckless people driving around road closure signs.

“Please do not go around them. Even when you can see that they're not underwater for a while, they'll be underwater eventually,” Sheriff Boman said.

Law enforcement had to rescue drivers on two separate occasions on Friday.

One rescue happened Friday morning when the driver of an SUV was left stranded on the roof of his vehicle after it was swept by flood waters.

Another occurred in the evening with a submerged semi.

Boman said the driver of the semi-truck, which was loaded with bird seeds, went into a road covered in water.

“He started heading west towards the river,” Boman said. “And he went through we are assuming four feet of water, until he actually got stuck in a field, [which] is where he kinda is right now.”

Sheriff Boman said that semi likely won’t get towed until June. He expects the water around Oslo to recede by next week.

A fine for driving on a closed road is $1,000 and Boman said he expects both drivers to be cited.