Growing Concerns For Rising Minnesota Rivers
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a growing concern about the possibility of flooding especially along the Mississippi River. The river is under a flood watch near St. Paul, but up north near Aitkin, a flood warning has been issued.
“It seemed like in mid-May we were kind of quiet, but then last week it just kicked into full gear,” said Diane Cooper, Hydrologist for National Weather Service.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports
So far, Minnesota has received more than nine inches of rain this month, making it the second-wettest May on record. It will become the wettest May if we go above 10.33 inches, which is a record set a century ago.
Cooper says the Minnesota River is usually their biggest concern, but right now it’s the Mississippi.
“Aitkin is expected to get into the moderate flood levels,” said Cooper. “Right now, that looks like the worst part of the state.”
South of St. Paul, the city of Hastings is seeing some high waters. The area there has now been upgraded to a flood warning. Cooper says moderate flooding is expected in Hastings because the city has less capacity to handle such a high flow.
The Army Corps of Engineers has closed three locks and dams in the Twin Cities to recreational boaters. The corps says the high level may be in place for a week or longer.
In Anoka County, the Parks and Recreation Department decided to close it boat launch ramps. The department says water levels along the ramps in the Ramsey and Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park are dangerously high.
In Stillwater, the St. Croix River is up several feet. Cooper says it’s not the rainfall however that’s directly causing the rise. She says the water along the Mississippi is backing up and causing it rise along the St. Croix.
Walking along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, you can see a major difference from this time last week. Boats are sitting high and some walk ways are all wet. Dani Bishop was walking her dog along the river.
“One day the paths were dry and clear the next day they were under water,” said Bishop.
Cooper says over the next several days we’ll have a dry period which will allow the water levels to normalize, somewhat. Rain is expected this upcoming weekend, but nothing “overly concerning,” she said.