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Engineers work to keep paper mill functioning in International Falls

Boise Cascade
Boise Cascade

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. (AP) -- Engineers at the International Falls Dam are working to keep flood water from interrupting operations at the Boise paper mill.

Rushing water blasting through spillways and wheels at the dam are threatening the mill's massive generators. If the generators are flooded, the mill could be shut down for weeks.

Engineers cranked open area dams that control the levels on Rainy Lake and Rainy River when heavy rain pushed water past flood stage. With more rain in the forecast, engineers may close a few spillways to restrict flows from the lake into the river. That could help protect operations at the paper mill.

Engineer Matt DeWolfe says until they tried it this week, they were just guessing it could work. But, they found it drew down the river by a few inches.

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