The National Weather Service on Wednesday issued flood warnings for several rivers statewide — including the Mississippi near downtown St. Paul, where waters are expected to crest next week.
The flooding was mostly expected to be minor, with some agricultural areas, boat accesses, parklands and riverside bike paths affected. The Mississippi could reach a reading of 15 feet, 5 inches at downtown St. Paul by Tuesday, or about 18 inches shy of major flood stage, according to the Weather Service.
With the Mississippi rising, St. Paul officials have decided to close Water Street while it’s still dry.
Beginning Thursday at 6 p.m., the city will close Water Street/Lilydale Road between Hwy. 13 and Plato Boulevard. The closing will not block visitor access to Harriet Island or the Pool and Yacht Club.
National Weather Service meteorologist Craig Schmidt said that because of low temperatures and little rain, the state was unlikely to see major flooding — despite a record-setting snowfall this month.
“This has been a really good melt, and we were fortunate that we didn’t get any heavy rain,” he said.
Elsewhere in the state, some flooding has occurred along the Cottonwood River in New Ulm and along the Redwood River near Marshall. The South Fork of the Crow River overran its banks north of Mayer, making County Road 123 impassable. More warnings were issued for the Minnesota and Chippewa rivers.
Along the Minnesota River, the Dakota County park staff planned to close the new Minnesota River Greenway trail due to flooding. The paved trail was engineered to handle spring floods, and the staff expects to reopen it when waters recede.
The trail will close from the Minnesota Riverfront Park in Burnsville at the 35W bridge to the DNR boat landing under the Cedar Avenue bridge.