ROSS -- Farmers near this hamlet five miles from the Canadian border will have little to show for their work this fall after the Roseau River turned thousands of acres of cropland into swamps.
Flooding that raged through Roseau after a sandbag dike gave way on Tuesday reached farmland northwest of the city about two days later, sending trucks loaded with sandbags and crews of volunteers from farmhouse to farmhouse.
About 75 workers built a 3 1/2-foot dike around Angie Johnson's house, which sits 150 yards from the river. Water lapped six inches from the top of the berm Sunday morning, but Johnson and her sons, Tyler and Zachary, planned to stay at the house during the day. They used a fishing boat to get from their house to her SUV parked along the highway.
"I never dreamed it would get this high," said Johnson. "But a lot of people helped out, and it seems to be working out."
Not so lucky are the farmers, who are used to dealing with wet fields in the spring but not massive flooding after their crops have been planted.
Brian and Sheldon Rice said they lost 2,900 acres of wheat, barley, blue grass and other crops. The brothers -- who were watching for breaks in the dike around Johnson's house -- have another 500 acres that were damaged by the water. They hoped to get some financial assistance from the federal government.
"We're going to need some kind of help on this one," Sheldon Rice said. "You can't take a hit like this and just expect to come back next year."
In estimating the financial loss, Ardell Magnusson, who has land north of Ross, said farmers invest about $100 into each acre of cropland.
"You do the math," he said.
Water in Johnson's yard rose about three-quarters of an inch between Saturday morning and Sunday morning, and it wasn't clear when the river would level off.
Meanwhile, floodwaters in Roseau, about 8 miles southeast of Ross, continued to recede as officials prepared a recovery plan. National Guard troops had left their checkpoints on the edges of the city Sunday morning, and traffic flowed in and out of town.
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