Live updates: Minnesota flooding latest

FEMA approves federal disaster declaration for 22 Minnesota counties

The Minnesota governor's office announced the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a federal disaster declaration for 22 counties in Minnesota impacted by flooding. 

The purpose of a federal disaster declaration is to provide resources to reimburse communities for debris removal, emergency protective measures as well as repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure, according to government officials.

READ MORE: Why Washington County was left off FEMA disaster declaration list

The Minnesota governor's office announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a federal disaster declaration for 22 counties in Minnesota impacted by flooding. 

The purpose of a federal disaster declaration is to provide resources to reimburse communities for debris removal, emergency protective measures as well as repair and replacement of damaged infrastructure, according to government officials.

Gov. Tim Walz and FEMA officials gave an update on the state's flood outlook Friday morning. That news conference can be seen above. 

The approved counties include the following: 

  • Blue Earth
  • Carver
  • Cass
  • Cook
  • Cottonwood
  • Faribault
  • Fillmore
  • Freeborn
  • Goodhue
  • Jackson
  • Lake
  • Le Sueur
  • Murray
  • Nobles
  • Pipestone
  • Rice
  • Rock
  • St. Louis
  • Steele
  • Wabasha
  • Waseca
  • Watonwan

Officials say damage assessments are ongoing and other counties along with other forms of assistance may be added following the assessments' completion. There are currently 20 other counties under review for federal disaster declaration funds.

Walz, FEMA share flood outlook update on Friday

Gov. Tim Walz and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided an update on Minnesota's flood outlook on Friday morning, noting officials are still working on responding to ongoing needs before transitioning to damage assessments. 

While sunny weather recently has given Minnesota a bit of a reprieve, Gov. Walz said, "We're still in a dangerous situation. Floodwaters are still rising in certain areas. It's still very unpredictable."

That being said, Minnesota is at a transition point, with damage assessments and the recovery phase beginning. 

This press conference came as more rain fell in Minnesota on Friday and some rivers continued to rise, causing flooding. However, the added rain on Friday is not expected to increase water levels on rivers so it should not impact flooding overall across Minnesota.

"I do want to assure everyone that the rain that fell last night will not have any significant impacts to the ongoing flooding," National Weather Service Meteorologist in Charge Dan Hawblitzel said Friday.

Minnesota is entering another dry stretch this weekend, which should help improve flood conditions.

Twin Cities metro flooding

Mississippi River in St. Paul causing flooding

While some rivers have crested and are starting to recede, the Mississippi River shows no signs of slowing down. 

The river has completely overflowed its banks in areas of St. Paul, with light poles half underwater. High water has shut down Harriet Island in St. Paul, with widespread flooding impacting most of the park. Nearby roads are closed and several feet of water surround the pavilion as of Friday morning. 

The water level in St. Paul is several feet above major flood stage and the river is forecast to come up another foot or so before it crests this weekend.

The National Weather Service is forecasting the Mississippi River will crest on Saturday evening at just shy of 21 feet, which would be the seventh-highest on record for that location and the highest since 2001 in St. Paul, Hawblitzel said.

"That crest will then also result in major flooding toward Hastings," Hawbitzel said. "And then once it merges with the St. Croix that will broaden the channel a little bit, which kind of mitigates some of those impacts, but still expecting above moderate flood stage for locations such as Winona and downstream from there."

Washington County declares state of emergency 

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Friday declared a state of emergency to address the flooding situation in the county caused by Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. 

This allows the county to take action to protect public infrastructure as well as respond to public safety concerns. This declaration means the county's Emergency Operations Plan will be activated. The state of emergency will be in effect for 30 days, or until the emergency response is no longer required. 

READ MORE: Flooding taking its toll on Hudson, Wis. riverfront businesses

Washington County is bordered by both the Mississippi River and St. Croix River. Several cities in the county are "actively engaged in protective measures to mitigate flood effects to public infrastructure," a press release said. 

Minnesota River in Jordan hits record flood stage

The Minnesota River in Jordan officially hit record flood stage, reaching 35.11 feet. This is the only "significant" crest, Hawblitzel said, and it should be the only record flood stage on the river as it continues to flow into the Mississippi River. 

A flood warning continues in the area. 

READ MORE: Valleyfair postpones 4th of July fireworks due to flooding

Cottage Grove flooding

Cottage Grove has closed the Grey Cloud Trail Bridge due to flooding, and the Grey Cloud Drive Causeway is expected to close Friday. 

No vehicle or pedestrian traffic is allowed in the area until further notice, the city says. 

Sandbagging at Black Dog Power Station

Xcel Energy is taking steps to protect the Black Dog Power Station from the rising Minnesota River. The company sandbagged the facility as a precaution. 

Black Dog Road remains closed from Interstate 35W to Eagan. 

No wake on St. Croix River

There is a no-wake zone in place to try and protect the shoreline of the St. Croix River from damage. 

Southern Minnesota flooding

Rapidan Dam: The latest

In southern Minnesota, officials decided to remove the Dam Store after flooding claimed the family's home Tuesday. 

The cliff was creeping closer to the historic store, prompting officials to demolish it so it wouldn't meet the same fate as the nearby house that fell into the river. Now, the community is rallying around the Hruska family after they lost their home and store.

READ MORE: Rapidan Dam before-and-after 'partial failure' seen on satellite

The stability of that bridge remains a major concern after the dam’s partial failure. 

The water level is down dramatically because erosion made the river so wide, exposing the bottoms of the supports under the bridge. This is a concern and why no one is allowed on the bridge — not even first responders or engineers, officials said on Friday.

Many highways reopening to traffic as floodwaters go down

Minnesota Department of Transportation Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger on Friday said many highways are reopening to traffic now that floodwaters are receding. This includes Highways 15, 30 and 75 in south-central Minnesota, Highway 14 near Lamberton in southwest Minnesota and a portion of Highway 169 between Mankato and St. Peter. 

Highway 169 between St. Peter and Wausau is still closed, however, as are parts of other highways in southern Minnesota, including: Highways 60, 62 and 71. Several ramps in the Mankato area are also closed. 

In the Twin Cities, Highway 41 in Chaska remains closed and the exit ramps to Black Dog Road off of Interstate 35 are closed. South Highway 101 frontage road in Savage is closed as well. 

Meanwhile, other highways will continue to reopen over the next few days, Daubenberger said. 

With the Mississippi River continuing to rise, there could be road closures in southeastern Minnesota, Daubenberger said. 

"Know our work is far from over out there. Our crews will continue to inspect roadways and bridges and identify any damage and ensure they're safe before we can reopen them to traffic again," Daubenberger said, nothing reopening highways and assessing damage could take some time. 

You can find the latest on road closures here

What to do if your property is flooded?

Minnesota officials are reminding property owners to document any flooding damage to their property with dated photos and to keep receipts for any repairs they make. This is "extremely" important as the state documents damage going forward, Minnesota Department of Safety Commissioner Bob Jacobson said during Friday's press conference. 

FEMA Administrator Tom Sivak said people should not wait to reach out to their insurance companies to understand what is needed for the insurance documentation process. People should also work with their local emergency management agencies. 

FEMA and Small Business Administration staff will soon be deployed in Minnesota to assess the damage — they will be credentialed and never ask for personal information, so you can tell if it's a scam, Sivak said. FEMA will coordinate this with county officials, who will communicate when the door-to-door visits will happen in your area. 

You can find flooding resources here

What's the status of federal, state aid after flooding in Minnesota? 

Minnesota's Executive Council on Thursday approved an extension of the state's peacetime emergency for the next 30 days, Gov. Walz said Friday, noting he's been in touch with President Joe Biden and the federal disaster declaration process is underway. 

The state has submitted its federal declaration, but the damage assessment is still underway as of Friday. Walz says the threshold numbers for relief "are being met quite easily because of the widespread damage."

Over the weekend, FEMA approved a disaster declaration for 22 Minnesota counties.