From rising waters to peak levels, flood stages vary across Minnesota

As temperatures rose Wednesday, so did floodwaters in southern Minnesota.

The warming trend has provided a steady melt off that is draining into regional watersheds.

In the Twin Cities metro area, the flooding peak will start this weekend, but in southern Minnesota, several sections of the great prairie are now another Great Lake.

Hwy. 93 from Le Sueur to Henderson is now closed as the road has been overtaken, overstressed and overrun by water.

Along the Minnesota River, some areas such as Jordan have already seen water levels crest, but in Shakopee, the Minnesota River is still rising. 

In fact, one of the city parks along the south bank is now underwater. Further downstream, it’s also rising, expecting to crest in Savage this weekend.

How far it rises and when it peaks depends on where you are.

“So, different rivers, different crests,” explained FOX 9 Chief Meteorologist Ian Leonard. “The Minnesota River cresting across the metro as we get through later this week. The Mississippi River in the south metro cresting later this week. Now the whole over if you will, the St. Croix River Valley. Stillwater looks to finally get to flood stage by Friday and Saturday and then continuing to rise all of next week.”

Stillwater is already prepared. The city released images Wednesday of the massive earthen levy it constructed along the St. Croix Riverfront to protect the historic downtown.

Sandbagging began last week with the city hoping to finish up within the next few days. Whether it’s the St. Croix, the Mississippi River or the Minnesota River, the rising waters have perhaps been slowed by near perfect spring melting conditions.

Along the Minnesota at Shakopee, even though the river is at the major flood stage, it’s still several feet below the high water mark set in 1965, but it could all change if we get swamped by another spring storm.

“If we were to see a day or two of rain in the next couple of weeks, our rivers after a day or two of lag time for the moister to make its way in could easily make it back into the major flood stage,” Leonard added. “So we’re not quite out of the woods just yet.” 

That is because the ground is soaked right now and able to absorb any more precipitation. Any rain would simply run off into the watershed.