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Minnesota National Guard
Guard Soldiers fight Wabasha County floods

At the request of the Steele County Sheriff, Governor Tim Pawlenty ordered 25 Minnesota National Guard Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry to assist with traffic control in and around the city of Owatonna, Sept 23 After accessing the mission, 25 more Soldiers were added to help in the Owatonna area

The Citizen-Soldiers are responsible for assisting local law enforcement with traffic control points and providing security for evacuated areas

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Local officials appreciated the Guard's assistance "We only have so many officers to help with traffic and cover the streets," said Owatonna Police Officer Mike Earl "We utilize them in areas we are not able to cover"

In addition to manning traffic control points the Soldiers also secured flooded neighborhoods "When cars came in we made sure they lived there and knew an address," said Pfc Dalton Selner, resident of Owatonna, "until the city came in and said the roads were clear"

Guard support has increased to help in other areas of the state To assist in Wabasha County, 18 Soldiers were activated and it was later increased to a total of 38 Soldiers who deployed to support flood fighting operations In Rice County, 66 Soldiers assisted law enforcement with traffic control and security

Under the direction of the Governor, the Minnesota National Guard will continue to provide necessary resources to support civil authorities responsible for the state's emergency management plan

By Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ewer
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
24 Sep 2010


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