As rivers swell, cities like St. Paul prepare for street closures

The countdown is on for flood preparations in St. Paul.

Soon, some of the capitol’s roads will close to get ready for the possible rising waters.

“Seeing that much water, a lot of the pathways we use are completely covered,” said Lance Petersen of St. Paul.

The rising waters near downtown St. Paul could soon change Petersen’s evening walk routine with his dog.

Sunday night, several major St. Paul streets will close, such as a lengthy section of Shepard Road and Warner Road from Childs Road to Ontario Street.

“I’m really concerned to see how much damage there will be,” Petersen said.

“There is still a major snow pack north and west of the [Twin Cities] metro it gathers, it has what we call lag time to make its way into the waters, which, in turn, makes its way into portions of the metro,” said FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard.  

Across the Twin Cities metro, the Minnesota River swelled near Shakopee Sunday.

A sign in the water shows how the river is creeping closer to the high-water elevation mark dated April 1965.

Muddy water is already spilling onto sidewalks, partially covering light poles and inching closer to a playground in Josh Miller’s neighborhood.

“They already closed [Hwy.] 43 a while ago and I’m concerned we’re not going to have roads this spring,” Miller said.

“At this point, flash flooding for the [Twin Cities] metro does not look like a major issue,” Leonard added.

On social media, Chisago County issued warnings urging people to stay off flooded streets.

“The flood stages in most major waterways are set to increase as we make our way through this week,” Leonard said.

For information about flood preparations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, visit these links.