Changing plans for the Stillwater levee

The Stillwater Gazette has more details on Stillwater’s decision to delay starting work on the dike due to a lower forecast. Later in the day, however, the forecast rose again.

Downstream, the Gazette notes that sandbagging and other preparations are now underway in Newport and St. Mary’s Point, and will begin soon in Lake St. Croix Beach.

As for Stillwater, it sounds like we’ll wait and watch the ever-changing forecasts. The city is ready to build the dike on short notice, according to the Gazette. As police chief John Gannaway put it:

“The good news is that we are prepared and have all of our resources in place to begin construction on a very short notice,” Gannaway said.

The updated NWS flood outlook due out today didn’t materialize, though I saw a note elsewhere that it will come out tomorrow. With luck, it will provide better context that the forecast graphs. Did the cold weather avert the major flooding, or merely delay it?

Update: According to the Associated Press, Stillwater will start work tomorrow on a “modified levee”:

Officials planned to start work Thursday morning, then held off pending a firmer forecast. Police Chief John Gannaway says the National Weather Service now projects a first crest slightly above 687 feet, about a foot higher than expected earlier in the day.

So the city now plans to start Friday on a “modified levee” at just the lowest elevations of the originally planned dike, at the very south and north ends. The work should be finished by this weekend.

The weather service reiterated to city officials that Stillwater is not out of the woods. The melt north of Stillwater has not been completed, and the city could see more flooding, including a second crest, later on.

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