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Precautions in Place for Anticipated Mississippi River Crest

Updated: 06/21/2014 11:36 AM
Created: 06/21/2014 11:34 AM KSTP.com

Rising waters in rivers across the state are causing problems, and it's still days until many of the rivers will crest.

Water levels are high across the state, and at Harriet Island in St. Paul, they're expected to reach 17 feet by Sunday, which is going to be a problem for Taste of Minnesota, an event planned in that location for the Fourth of July weekend.

Organizers are scrambling to find a new location to have the event.

High river levels are also taking a toll on many businesses that rely on the Mississippi.

Padleford Riverboats was forced to shut down along with all other riverboat cruises now canceled through at least Wednesday. Officials aren't sure when they'll start back up.

That hurts because many of the events riverboat business had- like weddings- can't be rescheduled.

"It's a huge deal for us because we're a small family-run business, and we're seasonal. So we only have five months of season, and this was the busiest 10-day stretch that we had booked through August," Gus Gaspardo from Padelford Riverboats said.

As of Saturday morning, the weather service reported the Mississippi is at more than 14 feet, which is right between minor and moderate flooding.

The river isn't expected to stop there. Experts said it will keep going up to almost 20 feet by mid-next week.

City of St. Paul crews are working to prepare for the impact it will have for all types of travelers in the state. They're reinforcing river docks in danger at Harriet Island and set up barricades to keep people out of the high water.

At. St. Paul Airport, Holman Field, preparations are in place to protect the runways. Right now, only one of three is open, so they're setting up a durable flood wall that will protect from flooding.


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