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Minnesota National Guard
Oslo Becomes an Island, Again

The city of Oslo, Minn, for the third consecutive year, was cut off from mainland Minnesota and essentially transformed into a temporary island due to spring-time flooding in the Red River Valley  This was the reason a national ABC news crew filmed Good Morning America live and on location near Oslo  In the morning sunrise of April 14, 2011, Barbara Pinto, an ABC news correspondent, spoke of the conditions in the area and how flood waters overtook Minnesota Highway 1  Highway 1 is the main entrance into Oslo from the east  This year the highway was flooded for nearly three miles east of the city

Oslo civil authorities and the Minnesota National Guard conducted an evacuation exercise throughout the city  The exercise helped Oslo residents, civil authorities and soldiers better understand their roles in the event a real-world evacuation is ordered

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Residents volunteering to participate in the evacuation exercise were instructed to display a red piece of fabric at a designated place near their residence  This is done to symbolize their need for evacuation by Soldiers and civilian firefighters  The residents were rapidly located, assisted onto military and civil authority vehicles and ultimately delivered to the collection point  In the instance of a real evacuation, the residents of Oslo would have been transferred to shore, but for the scope of the evacuation they were only brought to the collection point

Participants gathered to discuss the details, efficiency and outcome of the exercise after its completion  Many people, including residents who participated in being evacuated, took away a good sense of the speed and order of what could potentially occur during a real-life evacuation in Oslo, Minn

By Tech Sgt Brett Ewald
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs
15 April, 2011

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