Rising river levels to shut down roads, parks and trails in St. Paul

Flood warning in effect

Rising levels on the Mississippi River have caused areas of St. Paul to be temporarily closed.

According to the city of St. Paul, recent rainfall has increased the water levels on the Mississippi to 9.8 feet, with the river expected to crest at 13.8 feet by the weekend according to the National Weather Service’s forecast. The city is already taking action in accordance with its Flood Response Plan, which calls for initial action steps at a river level of 10 feet. The river will be considered in the minor flood stage once it reaches 14 feet, while the moderate flood stage is at 15 feet and the major flood stage is at 17 feet.

Those action steps will be implemented Wednesday night at 11 p.m. when sections of Water St. and Lilydale Rd. will be closed off. This includes travel from all commuters – vehicles, bikers and pedestrians. Also closing down will be Lilydale Regional Park’s trails and public boat launch.

Officials say the road will not reopen until water levels begin to reduce again. Still, weather officials are optimistic about this year’s water levels compared to last year’s major flood stage in St. Paul. Brennan Dettmann from the National Weather Service in the Twin Cities said the dry winter the city experienced will help reduce expected flood levels.

“Thankfully, since it was a dry winter, we’re not reaching these catastrophic flood concerns, where you would have both the snow melt on top of the heavy rain we’ve had this spring” Dettmann explained.

Officials say to stay off the water until levels go down due to the increased debris in the river.