American Crystal Sugar Company beet harvest campaign workers relocated to Downtown Square and North Acres Estates

    Central Park in Crookston is closed due to expected river crests close to 20 feet and American Crystal Sugar beet harvest campaign workers have relocated to either the Downtown Square or North Acres Estates, City Emergency Manager and Fire Chief Tim Froeber told the Times Friday morning. The Public Works department will also be running 24 hours until the river goes below 16 feet.

    Froeber said the emergency management team, which is made up of multiple department heads, met Thursday and decided what areas they should address due to the predicted river level. One of the first issues to tackle were the campers in Central Park who are there for the sugar beet campaign.

    “(Crookston Parks & Recreation Director) Scott Riopelle talked to the park campers Thursday and offered an alternate location of either the Downtown Square area or North Acres Estates because the park might get inundated with water over the weekend,” Froeber explained. “After they were evacuated, they pulled all the electrical services out of there with no problems.”

    “I believe there were 17 units that were moved out of the park,” he added. “It’s unfortunate we had to move them, but the river (in Central Park) is supposed to get up to 19.9 feet sometime Sunday late afternoon.”

    Froeber said the river will have a “steady uptick” in the next 48 hours and, at this time, there aren’t many concerns for other areas near the river unless the forecasted rise levels change. He added that storm sewer gates have now been closed so water doesn’t come back in and pumps will be manned by Public Works employees until the levels recede.

    “Public Works will be very busy over the next four or five days with snow removal and manning pumps,” Froeber stated. “We’ll see what the updated river predictions will be in 24 hours to see if we need to open the emergency operations center (at City Hall.)”

    “If anybody sees any issues with the dikes or levies, call the fire department (281-4584) and we’ll get it looked at.”