Flooding continues in some areas, preparations underway in others

March 18, 2019 05:47 PM

Flooding continued in some areas of Minnesota Monday, while elsewhere, preparations were underway for floodwaters expected to arrive soon.

The Scott County Sheriff's Department said crews were continuing to work on an ice jam in Sand Creek that extended over a mile in length, including into the city of Jordan, where an evacuation order remained in effect for the Valley Green Park mobile home community.


The rise in water on the north side of the park caused water to exceed the creek's banks and spill into the surrounding neighborhood.

A release Monday said the Jordan Public Works Department and S.M. Hentges and Sons had been using heavy equipment to remove dammed ice from the creek on the park's north side near Holzer Park. The goal was to create a channel for the water to drain around the ice jam and into a wetland. 

Those efforts did relieve enough pressure on the creek to stop it from overflowing into Valley Green Park, the release said.

According to the release, water levels were slowly coming down north of Valley Green Park overnight, and water levels have slightly decreased inside the neighborhood as well.

Travel in and out of the park is still not advised, though the release said law enforcement would not remove residents who chose to remain in their homes.

Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS crews spent Monday working  to break up the ice jam on the creek.

"It's not one easy fix," Sheriff Hennen said. "It's not just clearing out in front of a bridge it's a mile of ice that's built up, so it's going to be difficult to actually removed it."

For the first time in history, Scott County opened a pet shelter during a flood, About a dozen dogs and cats remain at the shelter. 

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Meanwhile, the Cottonwood River in New Ulm was expected to reach its peak Monday.

Water had rushed over the riverbanks and the flooding had become so significant in some areas that main road closures were in place.

Current water levels are about four feet below record levels set in 1965.

KSTP Spring Flooding coverage

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says a number of roads in south central Minnesota continued to experience flooding on Monday.

Highway 4 north of St. James remained closed. Water had receded over the road, but was still hitting the bridge structure. Highway 30 east of Mapleton was closed as well, though crews were working to open one lane with a traffic signal.

Highway 93 south of Henderson was closed after the Rush River backed up, leaving large amounts of water over the roadway. And, while Highway 75 north of Interstate 90 (Luverne) was open, MnDOT said that section of highway had the potential to flood again due to frozen culverts and snow melt.

Stay up-to-date on the latest weather information from KSTP

The City of Mankato also announced several closures due to safety reasons related to flooding.

They were:

  • Lane of Memories Park at 300 Amos Owen Lane.
  • The lower dog park and the trails at the Kiwanis Recreation Area, located at 2301 Highway 169 North (the upper dog park remained open).
  • The Minnesota River Trail from Sibley to Riverfront Parks.

City leaders in Hastings laid out a flood preparation plan for that community Monday. It includes partnering with local churches to help sandbag homes and property.

"I think it's absolutely critical to plan ahead," Public Works Director Nick Egger said. "The fortunate thing we have here with the Mississippi River is it takes a while to come up, so we can see that before we actually need to take action."

Major flood stage in Hastings is 18 feet. According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River has a 75-to-90 percent chance of reaching a flood stage of about 20 feet by early-to-mid-April, with a 50-to-75 percent chance of reaching a stage of 21.5 feet. That would be slightly lower than the 2001 flood in Hastings, which was the third highest on record.

The city of Stillwater planned to close all parking lots east of Water Street beginning Tuesday in anticipation of spring flooding.

In a Facebook post, the city cited National Weather Service projections that the St. Croix River has a 90 percent chance of reaching major flood stage.

In anticipation of that, the city said all parking lots east of Water Street, including the bike/walking trail from Laurel Street to the Oak Park Heights border, will be fenced off. Signs will be posted and the closure will be strictly enforced.

The Associated Press reported Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney was asking residents to help fill 1 million sandbags as the North Dakota city prepares for major Red River flooding.

The National Weather Service says "significant" snowmelt flooding is likely this spring in the Red River Valley after last week's massive late-winter storm in the Midwest. The chance the river will reach major flood stage in Fargo has increased from 50 percent to 90 percent.

The neighboring cities of Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota experienced a record flood 10 years ago. The two cities have implemented several measures such as home buyouts and levees since then.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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