Wednesday evening updates and Stillwater photos

The river continues to rise. Here’s a roundup of recent news coverage:

The Stillwater Gazette has a good summary of recent developments in Stillwater.

City Engineer Shawn Sanders told the council that the St. Croix is forecast to crest early next week between 687 and 688 above sea level. Flood stage is 687 feet.

Sanders said the city is protected by Jersey barriers and sandbags up to 689 feet. But he warned that flood predictions can change and “the crest changes everyday sometimes more than once a day.”

That would put the crest somewhere in the lower half of the top 10 St. Croix river crests, but quite a bit lower than the 1965 record of 694.1 feet. Here’s the latest forecast:

The Gazette story also suggested that the high waters may last for several weeks:

The NWS also reported that flooding would likely continue for several weeks due to slow snow melt in the upper basins of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers

“Many rivers and streams will remain flooded across the warned area with many areas experiencing additional rises based on incomplete snow melt and runoff from recent precipitation over the past week,” forecasters said. “Some rivers have crested, but runoff was not complete, which will lead to ongoing flooding for some time.”

[Stillwater City Engineer Shawn] Sanders told council members that flooding would cause, “disruption to parking and the Downtown Area for quite some time.”

Though the high water looks calm on the surface, the Star Tribune notes that their speed and volume create hazards:

“This is a very dangerous situation. There’s a lot of water moving through very fast,” [state official Wade] Setter said. “It doesn’t always look as dangerous as it really is.”

The Star Tribune also covers preparations further south, near the confluence of the St. Croix and Mississippi.

The Hudson Star-Observer reports that if Hudson residents need sandbags to protect their homes, the city will charge them 25 cents per bag… as long as bags are available after city property is protected.

Alderperson Scot O’Malley said private property owners would be getting a deal since the sandbags cost the city 24 cents each.

[Mayor Alan] Burchill said the city just wants to cover its costs for materials.

Finally, here are some photos I took after work today.

Since Sunday, the concrete jersey barriers have been augmented with plastic sheets, sandbags and, in some locations, piled sand. It looks like P.D. Pappy’s restaurant is surrounded by high waters… definitely not for the first time:

The newly-reinforced temporary levee, Lowell Park, and lift bridge:

The flood waters have reached the south end of the levee, next to the Dock Cafe. Here’s a view from the other side… a good illustration of how they’ve built the levee:

Looking north (upriver) from the lift bridge:

About half of the lawn in south Lowell Park is still above water:

Another view of the south end of the park:

The trees in the water show where one would normally find Mile Long Island, a popular boating destination north of Stillwater:

Finally, I don’t think any flood blog can be complete without at least one photo of a street sign sticking out of the water:


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3 Responses to Wednesday evening updates and Stillwater photos

  1. Pam Robb says:

    Thanks for all the updates and great pictures. We are monitoring the effects on our house in Afton as we sit, far away, in Florida. This documentation helps us make decisions about a possible return trip home to “man the deck”.

  2. Hudson Patch is keeping an eye on the river in Hudson. We regularly post the river levels and photos of flooded areas in the city on our Flood Watch 2011 column:

    We also set up a live video stream of the river creeping up and up at First and Buckeye streets in Hudson:

    Thanks for posting stuff on this blog. It’s been really informative, interesting and helpful!

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