Valleyfair feeling impact of floodwaters, remains open

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 25, 2014 - 9:58 PM

The state’s largest amusement park remains open after having to shut down three rides.

Valleyfair, where patrons can get a bird’s-eye view of the Minnesota River from many of its rides, is persevering as floodwaters creep onto its property in Shakopee.

Minnesota’s largest and most popular amusement park has had to shut down three thrill rides near the back — Renegade, Excalibur and Thunder Canyon — and reduced the number of parking spaces as well, Valleyfair spokeswoman Robin Stinnett said.

“The main parking lot is affected quite substantially,” said Stinnett, meaning some patrons are left to enjoy a longer summertime walk from an adjacent lot.

Because of the conditions, Stinnett added, Valleyfair is waiving the $12 parking fee.

Stinnett emphasized that the “park is open, the water park is open and we’ve been open all week” as the Twin Cities area and communities all across Minnesota battle floodwaters to varying degrees.

One of those communities is Warroad, at the top of the state and the latest stop on Gov. Mark Dayton’s waterlogged travel log. As he has done in the past several days in International Falls, Luverne, Chaska and elsewhere, the governor met front-line officials there on Wednesday and heard about how flood mitigation efforts were going and what state and federal assistance might be needed.

The latest figures from the National Weather Service show that this is the wettest June on record for the Twin Cities area, with more than 25 inches of rain so far. That’s 3.33 inches more than the previous record set in 1965.

In St. Paul, where flooding has washed over a handful of heavily traveled roads and threatened the downtown airport, police are coping with Day 2 of evacuating its impound lot to the west of the Mississippi River.

A substitute lot is being set up at the State Fairgrounds, and a Twitter message from the Police Department asks that vehicles affected by the change “plse be patient with this process.”

 

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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  • This aerial photo shows floodwaters from the Minnesota River encroaching on Valleyfair, forcing the closure of three rides.

  • The Excalibur roller coaster remained submerged in flood waters.

  • Valleyfair enthusiasts waited to hop on a ride.

  • Valleyfair enthusiasts ride the Wild Thing roller coaster.

  • Valleyfair enthusiasts made their way into the amusement park.

  • A Valleyfair roller coaster continued running near a flooded parking lot Wednesday in Shakopee. Three other rides were closed, while parking was limited

  • Valleyfair visitors had a view of a flooded parking lot as they waited to hop on a ride. The amusement park is waiving its $12 parking fee as most parkgoers have had to use a secondary lot.

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