NEW ULM, Minn. (WCCO) — Communities across central and southern Minnesota are keeping an eye on flood levels.

In New Ulm, the Cottonwood River is already 5 feet above average, flooding some parks and sections of city streets.

The river will rise another foot before it starts to recede Wednesday.

Technicians from the U.S. Geological Survey measured the river’s flow on Tuesday and studied its sediment.

They say it’s in flood stage.

Across town, the Minnesota River is also a sight to see.

“We’re panicking a little bit here,” said Steve Capp, a New Ulm resident. “Wondering what’s going to happen.”

The river is steadily rising and causing concern among those who live right on the river’s edge.

The rapid melt of all the snow banks around town is clearly having an impact on this year’s transition to spring.

“We just look out and look out, pray to God every day that we’re not going to get flooded out down here,” New Ulm resident Rhonda Hagen said.

On Wednesday, the water levels are expected to be even higher, leaving those who live or work along the riverr waiting and watching.