HENDERSON, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota River surged onto Highway 93 in Henderson Monday as MnDOT crews prepared for flooding by sealing off the town from the south and east with concrete floodwalls.
While the expected crest of the Minnesota River at Henderson is still six days away, chunks of floating ice and debris formed a natural dam under the bridge and caused the waters to rise upstream.
“We’re gonna have debris moving, and ice moving … so we know it’s time for us to get out there and start looking at the bridges,” said Larry Cooper, a MnDOT bridge supervisor.
As the water rose under Highway 19, MnDOT crews closed the road. However, the ice under the bridge dislodged itself soon after.
Throughout the day, locals stood on the bridge to watch the huge chunks of ice float down.
South of Henderson, along Highway 16, MnDOT crews laid down a 3,000-foot long ribbon of three-feet high poly covered sand to avoid a costly highway shut down.
The water also threatens to cover County Road 6 in Sibley County, and when that happens there will only one road in and out of Henderson.
The city of St. Paul is watching what happens in Henderson closely, because what happens to the Minnesota River will affect what happens to the Mississippi River.
In St. Paul, Sheppard Road is already closed down from Highway 61 to Eagle Street while a concrete levee is being built. Tomorrow, the parking lot below the Ramsey County Government Center will also be closed, so that people can begin filling sandbags.