Thursday, March 18, 2010

Water’s reach is near and far in the upper Midwest US

Chris Havens, Kevin Giles And Bill Mcauliffe in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The comments section is worth a look to -- some Minnesotans don't think too highly of Fargo's attitude toward flood control: River towns facing the brunt of winter's rapid meltdown scurried to prepare Wednesday as rising waters threatened weekend road closures in St. Paul and flooding in downtown Stillwater and Delano.

In central Minnesota, homeowners near the swollen Mississippi mopped up after septic systems backed up. To the west, Red River Valley residents slung sandbags as they braced for that river to crest on Sunday and more than 300 Minnesota Army National Guard soldiers were deployed to help with the flood fight.

In St. Paul, the Mississippi River is expected to hit flood stage, which is 14 feet, on Friday morning. On Wednesday, the National Weather Service upgraded its projections, saying the river will hit the 17-foot mark by Sunday afternoon. If that happens, it would be one of the city's top 10 floods. St. Paul's record crest was 26 feet in 1965.

…The roads will be closed until floodwaters recede and crews can inspect them, Public Works Director Bruce Beese said, adding that the closure is likely to last a couple of weeks. If the water reaches 18 feet, a temporary levee will be built along Shepard Road between Sibley and Jackson Streets. Work on the road, which would take two days to build, will begin Monday, depending on how the water moves.

City workers have filled 15,000 sandbags so far and will continue to do more Thursday. Rick Larkin, the city's emergency management director, said volunteers are not needed. Although spring floods routinely inundate St. Paul's downtown airport, new flood walls already being installed should protect it, he said….

Norman County, MN, March 29, 2009 --Flooded farms and rural communities in Norman County adjacent to the Red River of the North. Andrea Booher/FEMA

No comments: