ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Workers at the St. Paul Yacht Club are busy securing boats and tying off docks as they prepare for potential flooding along the Mississippi River.
“Today we cabled off a couple of the boats, cabled off the docks to land,” said Gary Deisting, a Yacht Club worker. “This year we’re preparing for high waters. Higher than we’ve had in last 20 to 30 years.”
The St. Paul Yacht Club has two harbors and oversees more than 200 boats. The boats range in size from 24 to 50 feet.
Deisting and his crew of five are in the process of removing more than a 100 large boats out of the river.
“We’ve got 40, maybe 50 to move,” said Deisting.
Some boats and their owners will ride the floods out through the spring — that’s why on Monday crews are securing them with metal cables.
“Right back on the other side of the berm we have a lot,” said Deisting.
The boat lot is already packed with dozens of vessels.
“Now we’re putting them out on the street,” he said.
Flood forecasters expect the Mississippi River to reach 14 feet by Thursday, which is flood stage one.
On Sunday, they expect the waters to reach 18 feet.
Deisting said when the water hits 17 feet they’ll shut off power to the boats, close the sewer lines and ask boat dwellers to find land.
“They’re a little concerned because the water is getting higher than in the past, but we’ll deal with it,” said Deisting.