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Spring Flooding: Get the Latest Information and Resources

A flooded road in Polk County, Minnesota

The spring snowmelt has caused significant flooding in dozens of counties across Minnesota. While some rivers have crested already this season, the National Weather Service says rivers and tributaries could return to minor, moderate and major flood stages following the recent precipitation.

HSEM is in touch with other federal, state and local partners who are working together to prepare. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has increased its monitoring of the flooding situation. State agencies are on notice to report to the SEOC, if needed.

Now is the time for you to take action to protect life and property. We have all the resources you need on our Spring Flooding page. Look for a daily update at the top of the page. And please share this valuable information with your family and friends.

An Appliance That Saves Lives

A gear washer at a fire stationThere are special washing machines – known to firefighters as “gear washers” – designed to remove the carcinogens that build up in the turnout gear they wear when they fight fires. Why is that important? Because those carcinogens, also known as toxic combustion byproducts, stick around long after a firefighter leaves a call, causing health problems such as lung damage, chronic bronchitis and cancer. But they can be prohibitively expensive. Thanks to a grant allocated by the State Fire Marshal Division, 145 Minnesota fire departments have been able to buy gear washers and dryers since 2015.

Learn more in our latest blog.

Hands-Free: Now the Law in Minnesota

A driver holding a cellphone

Governor Tim Walz signed a new hands-free cell phone bill into law to help further reduce distractions behind the wheel.

Starting Aug. 1, drivers will no longer be able to hold their cell phones in their hands. They will be able to use their phones to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single touch activation without holding the phone.

Remember, hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free. We want Minnesotans to stay safe, stay alive and stay out of trouble under the new law.

Visit the HandsFreeMN website for more information.

Featured Video

Video Description: State Patrol Col. Matt Langer and OTS Director Mike Hanson joined families of distracted driving victims and legislators as Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation that bans the use of hand-held cell phones while driving and aims to prevent distracted driving crashes.