ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A day after issuing an emergency declaration for flooding, city officials in St. Paul are preparing for the possibility of record flooding.
Rick Larkin, the Director of Emergency Management, says the latest from the National Weather Service is there’s a 70 percent chance of major flooding along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, and a 50 percent chance of record flooding.
City emergency management officials, public works officials and others held an informal media briefing Tuesday morning. The city says it’s taking pre-emptive measures to ensure all residents and infrastructure remains safe. They are sending out letters to residents to inform them of public-preparedness meetings starting on Wednesday.
Larkin said depending on how bad the situation gets, the city could evacuate as many as 2,500 people living in the Upper Landing and Lowertown areas.
Monday’s emergency declaration was not to raise alarm — it was more of a formality. It means St. Paul will now begin tracking the costs of preparing and fighting flooding. The money has to be tracked in order for St. Paul to be reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Crews started putting up a floodwall at St. Paul’s Downtown Airport, a process that will continue throughout the week.
Larkin said there are three things he wants people to keep in mind with the threat of widespread flooding all over the state: know your risk, have a plan, and stay informed.
The City of St. Paul also launched a new flood preps website to help people stay informed.
City officials will continually monitor National Weather Service updates and water levels.
(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)