Walz signs disaster assistance response bill as river levels rise

St. Croix river latest

St. Croix river latest

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed a bill into law Monday morning that provides additional funding for the state’s disaster assistance response.

The bill moves $40 million into the emergency account, which was created back in 2014 to expedite help to communities dealing with damage from disasters.

Rep. Gene Pelowski Jr. (DFL-Winona) says it’s the largest amount ever allocated to the fund and the first time lawmakers have replenished the fund in several years.

The signing comes as the St. Croix River in Stillwater crossed into moderate flood stage late Sunday night and is expected to hit major flood stage sometime Tuesday morning.

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Meanwhile, the City of St. Paul has closed two roads on opposite sides of the Mississippi River due to the threat of flooding. Shepard Road was closed Sunday night, as well as Sibley and Jackson Streets.

RELATED: Shepard Road in St. Paul closes due to flood concerns

On Friday, a three-mile stretch of Water Street was closed on the other side of the river, and city officials say trails and facilities near Water Street are closed until further notice.

The National Weather Service predicts the Mississippi River will hit minor flood stage later in the day Monday in St. Paul.

In Brooklyn Park, the Mississippi River is already in moderate flood stage and is forecast to reach major flood stage on Tuesday.

Over in Champlin, Mississippi Point Park is already closed, and the river is at minor flood stage there. It is expected to reach moderate flooding on Tuesday.

RELATED: As high waters from the Mississippi force Champlin park to close, residents wonder what will happen next

Citizens are asked to stay away from flood waters, as ice chunks or trees could float by.

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