Berm being built to keep Montevideo dry; road closings dot metro area

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 22, 2010 - 1:21 PM

While several flood-prone locations in the Red River Valley appear to have done what's been necessary to avoid disaster, exhaustive efforts are underway to the east in Montevideo, Minn., to avert a worst-case scenario.

A berm more than three-fourths of a mile long is being built along Hwy. 212 to keep the Minnesota River from inundating the western Minnesota town. Hwy. 212 between Montevideo and County Road 7 near Wegdahl is closed, as is Hwy. 29, to allow for the levee construction.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the 4,000-foot-long wall will be built to a height that is 2 feet above the 19.9-foot crest that the National Weather Service is forecasting for the Minnesota.

The construction will continue around the clock until complete, the Army Corps said Monday.

Meanwhile, Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks officials believe that the Red River will not defy the hundreds of millions of dollars in levees, walls, diversions and other flood-mitigation efforts spent since 1997's "Flood of the Century." The Red River crested at Fargo-Moorhead on Sunday and the water level is now receding.

Elsewhere in Minnesota, the rising Mississippi River has drenched parts of Harriet Island and Raspberry Island in St. Paul, forcing the city to close the parks.

To the east, the Stillwater lift bridge remains open, but the St. Croix River keeps rising and officials may need to close the bridge eventually.

Also, these roads are closed due to flooding or the threat of flooding:

• In Bloomington, the entrance and exit ramps to Blackdog Road on Interstate 35W.

• Hwy. 101 between Flying Cloud Drive and downtown Shakopee.

• Hwy 25. between County Road 106 and Hwy. 10, near Monticello.

• Hwy. 25 between Hwy. 7, near Mayer, and County Road 113, near Buffalo.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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