UNDATED -- The head of the National Weather Service in Minneapolis says he expects the outlook for spring flooding to stay high.  The flood risk is higher than usual across the state because of the heavy snowfall and a wet autumn.

UPDATE (4/4) - The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the Sauk River in St. Cloud.  The flood warning will go into effect on Thursday morning.  The river is at 5 1/2 feet today (Monday), and is expected to rise above the flood stage of six feet later this week, and go up to 6 1/2 feet by Sunday.  The Sauk River crested above eight-feet back in 2009.

Emergency Management Officials in the tri-county area have been busy preparing for the potential flooding:

Benton County officials say sand and bags will be available to county residents starting in early March, or sooner if necessary.

Stearns County Emergency Management developed a partial list of companies that provide sand, sand bags, pumps and other flood resources.  They also have a video on how to properly fill sandbags and a document on how to build a sand bag dike.

Sherburne County has sand bags available for residents to buy at a cost of .29 cents per bag.  They're available for pick-up at the Public Works Buildings in both Becker and Elk River. Sand bags can be picked-up Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. -- If you need bags after hours, call the Sheriff's office at 1-800-433-5245.

Angie Trulson: 255-7265

Sign-up to get e-mail updates from your county:
Stearns County

Benton County

Other resources:
Minnesota Department of Health on protecting yourself from floods
Center For Disease Control on emergency preparedness and response