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Cold Weather Helps Delay Flood Crest In Red Wing

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By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Many Minnesotans may not like the cold temperatures and the snow we just got, but those who are dealing with flooding love it.

It turns out the cold weather is actually a good thing for flooding.

“Feeling a little better today,” said Lynn Nardinger, the Deputy Director of Public Services for Red Wing.

Nardinger now expects the Mississippi River to crest at 15 feet late next week.

The city has been getting ready for flooding along the river. Sandbags are up, and workers moved out machinery and equipment from several low-lying areas. This break is a much needed one.

“We’ve seen the latest predictions this morning, and they’re showing everything settled down a bit,” said Nardinger.

The recent snow helped to slow rivers from abruptly rising. Cold temperatures have helped too.

“Because what happens, is you have all the moisture that is now on the surface and it’s going to stay there for a while with the cooler temperatures. Had that been rain, it would have all ran down to the rivers and we would have seen some pretty high crests right now,” said Chris Shaffer, Chief Meteorologist for WCCO. “It was kind of a good thing, believe it or not.”

Now the rivers can clear out some of the water that’s built up, before another major melt happens and more water gets into them.

The National Weather Service is still worried about St. Paul and places down-river from where the Minnesota and Mississippi meet, including Red Wing and Hastings.

Another storm could change everything. The last thing Minnesota needs is more rain and snow.

“We feel once it warms up in another week — week-and-a-half — we’ll see that river rise again. That’s kind of what we’re watching for now,” said Nardinger.

Nardinger knows the crest is inevitable, but Mother Nature has just delayed it.

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