AITKIN COUNTY, Minn. - Big Sandy Lake is still rising, and that has hundreds of lakefront homeowners concerned. But the good news the lake is not rising nearly as rapidly as it was earlier in the week.
"We'd like to see it turn around and go the other way real quick and we're hopeful that's going to happen on Friday," Sheriff Scott Turner explained. The lake was expected to hit its maximum level on Friday; in the meantime it was also expected to take in about 6 more inches of water.
"The capacity of the lake is less than the resilience of this community," the Sheriff added.
For Kim Bourgeault, this wasn't how she envisioned the first summer at her new cabin. We caught Bourgeault as she hopped onto a county dump truck; it was the only way she could get home because the lake had swallowed a good portion of the roads surrounding Big Sandy.
Bourgeault was afraid to see what she'd find, especially after Saturday's events. "My husband woke up in the morning, looked out the window and said Kim, the boat is taking the dock and it's floating away," she recalled.
FEMA was in Aitkin to go over the widespread flood damage with city and county officials on Wednesday. They did not go out and assess the damage; Turner says they got all the information they needed from government workers.
Don DeBolt, who lives on the other side of the lake from Bourgeault, was running 2 pumps 24/7 as the water flooded into his basement at the same rate he was pumping it out. He never sand-bagged the backside of his home. "What we really hoped was it would never get this high," he said.
Doug Taylor, a few doors down, could be found solidifying a sandbag wall. "Hope it'll hold. Sounds like we're really close to the crest right now," he remarked.
From Aitkin, FEMA workers headed to Duluth, where they planned on assessing damage in St. Louis, Pine, Carlton, and Rice counties on Thursday. KARE 11 will be with them as they document the results of that rising water.
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