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Thief River Falls lowers reservoir level in search of missing woman

Gina Anderson

GRAND FORKS -- City workers began raising the gate in the dam on the Red Lake River in Thief River Falls on Monday to lower the level of the city's reservoir. The idea is to aid the search for Gina Anderson, the Thief River Falls woman missing since last Oct. 23 when she last was seen leaving her home in her yellow Pontiac.

Law enforcement investigators, including city police, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office and the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, have searched the river several ways the past year. The searches included a remote-controlled mini-sub equipped with hi-tech sensors and drilling holes in the ice last winter.

Nothing has been found of Anderson or her car and no information of her whereabouts. The reservoir where Red Lake River and Thief River meet in the city is a natural place to search, according to investigators.

Lowering the level of the city's river reservoir 5 feet or so will provide investigators more certainty.

A gate in the dam on the Red Lake River in the city began being raised gradually at 7 a.m. Monday, increasing the flow downstream, said Cory Delap, a power plant operator for the city. By about 3 p.m., it appeared the reservoir level behind the dam had lowered about 2 feet, Delap said. The increased flow through the dam will continue probably until Wednesday, when investigators plan on beginning to search the river.

Anyone with information about the case should call the Pennington County Law Enforcement Center at (218) 681-6161.