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Bridge closings on Minnesota River announced as flooding continues

March 20, 2019 08:42 PM

Communities in Minnesota continued to deal with or prepare for flooding Wednesday.

In Carver County, the Chaska Police Department announced the Minnesota Department of Transportation is planning to close the Highway 41 bridge over the Minnesota River beginning at 9 a.m. Friday due to expected flooding concerns.

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The closest alternative river crossing is the bridge on Highway 101 connecting Chanhassen to Shakopee.

Carver County said the Scott County 9/Carver County Road 11 bridge is also closed. Drivers were urged to use alternative routes.

The city of Carver built a temporary levee next to the Main Street bridge and closed Riverside Park because of the rising river waters.

"This is something we have a plan and are very much prepared for," Carver Mayor Courtney Johnson said. "This is something, for better or worse, we've become good at doing because we do it fairly regularly." 

The National Weather Service showed the Minnesota River at Jordan was at 26.86 feet Wednesday afternoon. Flood stage is 25 feet. The river is expected to rise to 31.8 feet by early next week.


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The Henderson Police Department said Sibley County Road 6 (Scenic Byway) south of County Road 5 closed Wednesday. 

Flood gates had already gone up in Henderson earlier than city officials originally anticipated as the Minnesota River continues to rise.

MnDOT had already closed Highway 19 to Highway 169 because of flooding. And Highway 93 south of Henderson also remains closed. MnDOT said Highway 93 from Highway 169 to Le Sueur would close by 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Further south, MnDOT announced Highway 65 in Albert Lea was closed in both directions Wednesday from Garfield Avenue to South Broadway because of water on the road. A release said the stretch of road (also known as Main Street in the city) could remain flooded for days.

Conditions could worsen at Fountain Lake as above-freezing temperatures continue to melt snow, according to the release.

The city continues to monitor the situation.

The City of of New Ulm posted video of the ice jam on the Cottonwood River there Wednesday, which you can see below.

Meanwhile, on the Mississippi River, city officials in St. Paul declared a local flood emergency Wednesday in anticipation of forecast flooding there.

A release said the procedural declaration, which is part of the city's flood response plan, allows the city to mobilize resources quickly. The river is expected to reach minor flood stage in the city by the start of next week.

Downstream, sandbagging efforts continued Wednesday at the Prairie Island Indian Community.

The community is located in the Mississippi River flood plain, and tribal leaders believe flooding is very likely, potentially within the next week. It could impact homes, businesses and Treasure Island Resort and Casino.

Hundreds of volunteers are expected to take part in the massive flood prep effort, which kicked off Tuesday. Volunteers filled 15,000 sandbags to bring down to several large berms built near the water.

In Hastings, the city said it was working with church leaders with the Bless Hastings Group to recruit volunteers to help build sandbag barriers around homes in flood-prone areas of the East Hastings Neighborhood.

Sandbagging efforts there are planned to begin this weekend.

Meanwhile, at the State Capitol, the House Capital Investment Division Committee was expected to hear at least seven bills Wednesday that would provide funding for flood mitigation to various watershed districts.

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KSTP & Beth McDonough

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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