President Barack Obama pledged the federal government’s help Thursday in recovery after massive flooding hit many parts of Minnesota this month, telling a town hall audience near the roaring Minnehaha Falls that they’ll have a strong partner when they know how severe the damage is.
During President Obama’s visit Thursday to the Twin Cities, Gov. Mark Dayton said he’ll ask for federal disaster help. A flood warning remains in effect for many Minnesota rivers, including the Mississippi River. It’s expected to crest Thursday night in St. Paul at 20.5 feet.
Walking up to Newport’s clay levee, which is holding back the rain-swollen Mississippi River, city administrator Deb Hill doesn’t like what she is seeing.
Flooding in Shakopee, Minn. has led to the closure of three rides Wednesday at a popular Twin Cities amusement park. According to officials at Valleyfair, the park has closed the Renegade and Excalibur rollercoasters and the Thunder Canyon water ride.
Minnesotans from all across the metro came to Carver. Minn. Wednesday to help fill up more sandbags. The Minnesota River that runs along the community is expected to crest Wednesday. But more rain in the forecast has people preparing for the worst. The downtown flooded badly back in 1965.
To hear about the 30th Anniversary of “Purple Rain,” and other high lights from Wednesday’s show, Click the link above.
Numerous highways and bridges are closed across the state as cities continue to deal with flooding and damage from torrential rains. In the metro area, the Stillwater Lift Bridge remains closed to pedestrian, vehicle and water traffic as waters on the St. Croix rise.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman declared a state of emergency Tuesday as the Mississippi River continues to rise there and create flooding issues. It’s the same situation in Ramsey County, and Harriet Island is under water.
Flood waters are beginning to recede in some parts of Minnesota, but the damage will be around for some time. That’s especially true for a Le Sueur family. The Carlsons had to run to escape a mudslide in their home.
Several pumps are keeping St. Paul’s floodwaters at bay. The ever-widening Mississippi River is attracting curious spectators like Barb Stahowiak. “I’d walk here almost every day during the fall flood, I think it was 2010, and it did not rise like this, not at all,” Stahowiak said.
Due to recent flooding caused by days of heavy rain, Waterville in southern Minnesota is mostly under water. “Nobody’s ever seen it, and you can never be prepared for it,” said resident Brian Spatenka.
Gov. Mark Dayton made the rounds of more Minnesota cities along flood-swollen rivers Tuesday to meet with emergency managers and local elected officials. Delano City Administrator Phil Kern told the governor a conservative estimate of damage from the Crow River is already at $250,000, about 10 percent of the city’s budget.
From the top of the state, to the bottom, Emergency Management Director Kris Eide has seen firsthand the damage the flooded has caused. “We thought we’d dodged a bullet,” Eide said. Eide was referring to the fact that floods usually happen in the spring and not summer. She said while the work of previous sandbagging has taken its toll, there is still more work to be done.
The Delano area continues to deal with high water from the swollen Crow River after heavy rain came through the area last week. The Crow River crested late Monday night, reaching a depth of just over 21 feet. It’s the second-highest in history for the city of Delano, but still two feet under the record set back in 1965.
When our state has flooding, experts are able to tell us days out exactly how high a river will rise. And they’re usually correct within a couple inches. With millions of gallons of water involved, how do they know?