MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As of Saturday afternoon, the Crow River was already three feet above flood stage.

“It’s pretty crazy, it gets high, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this high before,” said Melanie Sturman, from Delano.

City crews were busy through the morning building a new dike along the east side of the river to protect downtown Delano. By afternoon, they closed off the major Bridge Avenue crossing as the water touched the base of the bridge.

“It’s getting a little scary,” said resident Stephanie Cappeleri. “I just drove over here around noon and already now it’s closed.”

For residents living near the river, the last 24 hours have been a nightmare.

“You sit here and wait and see what happens,” Scott Oberaigner said.

He was house sitting for his friend Saturday. So far, they’ve had to use three sump pumps to try to get water out of the basement.

“When the river rises anymore, we call the fourth pump, the mother pump, that takes care of us hopefully for the best,” he said.

Downtown Delano hasn’t seen severe damage, so far. Neighbors credit the work of city crews and a tight knit community fighting back against Mother Nature.

“Making sure sand bags are here and the dikes are here, keeping everybody in the loop what they’re doing,” Cappeleri said.

The National Weather Service is predicting the Crow River will peak Sunday afternoon. They’re estimating it will reach 20.6 feet, the highest since 1965.

Kate Raddatz