Updated: 06/27/2014 5:55 PM
Created: 06/27/2014 3:58 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
Storms over the weekend could impact communities and rivers already affected by flooding.
KSTP Meteorologist Sam Ryan says strong winds with heavy rain could hit the Twin Cities as early as Saturday. Chopper 5 gives us a bird's-eye view of the flooding across the area.
Residents in Prior Lake can be seen fortifying the walls of sandbags now in place using paddle boats and canoes to get the sandbags where they're needed. The city is facing the highest lake levels in at least 43 years. About 50 property owners are said to be impacted as the lake level continues to rise.
In St. Paul, Harriet Island is still underwater. For the third time in five years, the river crested at just over 20 feet on Thursday, which is six feet above flood stage. It was down a few inches Friday, but people are being urged to stay away. The park could be off-limits for another week.
In Cottage Grove, officials are monitoring the Mississippi River three times a day. The concern is for Grey Cloud Island in the southwest part of the city. There are only two roads on and off the island, and one is now closed. If the other is cut off, people in 15 homes may have no way to leave.
Meanwhile, on the St. Croix River, both boat and cars are underwater near Afton Marina, and at St. Mary's Point near the I-94 crossing into Wisconsin, baseball fields look more like ponds.
The Stillwater Lift Bridge remains closed, as concrete barriers are being used to help stabilize it. The water level there needs to drop about a foot and a half before it can re-open. The St. Croix River in Stillwater is expected to crest Friday at 87.6 feet, which is just six feet shy of the 1965 record. This prediction could change with the rain expected over the weekend.
Emergency officials in Carver County say they're concerned this weekend's rain and strong winds could topple tall trees that have been in standing water for days.
Officials say their preliminary estimates of damage to public infrastructure is more than $9 million, which is expected to increase as flooding problems drag on.
The Mississippi River crested Thursday night at 20.5 feet; this is the highest its been since 2001. Officials say the river has started receding, but could rise with more rain.