By James Schugel, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The flood prediction threat in the Minnesota and Mississippi River valleys is the worst it’s been in at least a decade.

The City of St. Paul, Ramsey County and Washington County have all made State of Emergency declarations as they gear up for possible flooding.

This week’s warm weather is melting the snow pack along the river fast. We always knew thawing would come. We just didn’t know how fast it would happen.

“So this sponge is full, and when the snow melts, we’re going to add more water,” said Rick Larkin, the emergency management director for the City of St. Paul. “Well, really, it’s really close to a coin-flip for record flooding in St. Paul.”

There’s a sense of urgency for Larkin and other city managers.

His emergency operations center is ready to handle the city’s response, with its multitude of cameras pointed at possible problem spots.

There’s more.

“We are making sandbags. We are ordering pumps. We are ordering generators. We’re planning to build emergency levees,” he said.

A clay levee will run along Shepard Road to protect Lowertown.

It’ll curve at the eastern end and be reinforced with sandbags.

But more than 2,000 residents in Lowertown and the Upper Landing might have to evacuate for another reason.

City officials are worried that the sewer system could actually back up and flood both areas.

Storm sewers have never been tested by a large-scale flood.

The city’s sending out a letter, urging residents to plan now for the potential dangers.

“I do know this, it’s a lot easier for folks to plan before the water’s rising than when the water’s rising,” Larkin said.

The city is also planning several emergency preparedness meetings in the next week.

“I’m guessing they’ll get things under control. Otherwise I guess it’ll be a little bit of a bummer,” said Debbie Hinkland, who lives in Lowertown.

There’s a 70-percent chance of major flooding along parts of the Mississippi.

But it’ll be the coming days and weeks that will show just how accurate that prediction is.

Flood Preparations — City Of St. Paul
St. Paul’s Letter To Residents

Comments (8)
  1. John says:

    I would like to volunteer and help out as much as I can, where can I do this? I signed up for the Red Cross today, is there another place where I can volunteer to help out in the immediate twin cities area like North Mankato and St. Paul?

  2. the crux of the biscuit says:

    I would like to volunteer also. Does anyone know if the Cityof St. Paul has a web site you can go to that allows one to sign up? I looked over their site and didn’t see one, but I may have just missed it.

  3. the crux of the biscuit says:

    Found it….

    Click on the bolded “FLODD PREPARATIONS — CITY OF ST> PAUL” at the end of the above article and you can get there too.

  4. Nicole says:

    They had on the news yesterday that Stillwater is looking for volunteers as well. They said they do three hour shifts for the volunteers. Just thought you might like to know that as well. 🙂

  5. Kevin says:

    Follow on Twitter, on Facebook, or for up to the minute news and alerts regarding the flooding in the Lowertown area of Saint Paul. There are links to the National Weather Service’s flood page on saint paul as well as the City and all local news sources.

    1. Kendle says:

      I started to blog about the flooding this year. II will be following the progress of it by the Robert Street bridge by taking pictures and providing flood stage updates. I don’t know if anyone is interested in following but I figured I would throw it out there, I also posted last years flood results with pictures. The ice flows were amazing to watch.

  6. Chris says:

    Does anyone know if there is a place that we can stay at for free or for a lower rate…We have 2 kids and live at UpperLandings. Does Red Cross or anyone help in times like these?

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