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UPDATE: Bomb squad taken care of suspicious package on railroad tracks in La Crescent



LA CRESCENT, Minn. — Houston County Emergency Management has given the all clear in regards to the suspicious package found on the railroad tracks across Highway 61 from Schmitty’s TimeOut Tavern in La Crescent. 

The package was discovered by Canadian Pacific railroad employees around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. It was later identified as a backpack.

The Houston County Emergency Management team put out this notice around 1:30 a.m. Thursday: “residents are now allowed to return to their homes in La Crescent, the bomb squad arrived and took care of the suspicious package.”

Earlier Wednesday night, around 10:30 p.m., the Emergency Management put out this notice: “This is a Code Red alert authorized by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office. A suspicious package is being investigated in the area. Please evacuate immediately. The La Crescent Fire Station is being opened to receive evacuees that need shelter. Do not reenter the area until emergency units have cleared the area and a message has been sent out.”

At 10:30 p.m., however, traffic was passing without any diversion on Highway 61. The fire department would not allow anyone to go down Sycamore Street.

At that time, Terry Meyer with the La Crescent Fire Department didn’t have many other details regarding the package whereabouts or its size.

“That’s all I know, is that it’s a suspicious package and they’re investigating it and getting people here to handle the situation,” Meyer said around 10:30 p.m. “We’re just here to do traffic control.”

Meyer said Houston County’s emergency management team was either on its way or already on the scene. He didn’t know whether a team was there, as he was simply on traffic control at the Highway 61-Sycamore Street intersection.

“They did some (investigating) and then, you know, depending on where they’re getting (help) from … if it’s coming from Houston County, but I don’t know what their protocol is,” Meyer said, adding he personally has had no experience with this type of situation.

This story will be updated  when more information is available. 

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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