Mississippi River flooding starts, worst yet to come

The Mississippi River is headed for major flooding in the Metro in the coming days.

We’re already seeing moderate flooding shut down some low-lying roads and parks.

The river’s at about 15 feet in the St. Paul area and coming up over Lilydale Road.

But the forecast calls for the river to rise another five feet by this weekend, so the flooding will get much worse.

Only a gate separates the Mississippi River from the waters of the Lilydale Pool and Yacht Club.

This water-on-water collision is just the first sign of incoming floods.

In Hastings, pushing boats to higher ground is the sure sign of a Mississippi rising at Hubbs Yacht Club Marina.

"By this weekend will be in probably knee-deep water in this area," said Bart Shanks, the Hubbs Yacht Club marina manager.

Shanks has watched the waters encroach on this land many times over the years and he knows what needs to go up the hill and what’s safer staying on the water.

"There may be situations where if it got worse than expected, we have to go into panic mode and, and potentially, move other things," he said.

Potentially knee-deep water under Highway 61 makes it one of five roads Hastings police intend to close.

"We anticipate that water is going to come over (East Fourth St.) later today or tomorrow," Hastings Police Chief Dave Wilske told FOX 9 on Monday.

When East Fourth Street floods, Chief Wilson says about seven families will be cut off from higher ground.

They’re never surprised by flooding, although it’s more common when snow melts in the spring.

The same goes for St. Paul, where Water and Shepard Roads are closed and access is limited to Harriet Island and Upper Landing Park, days before the worst flooding arrives.

"We still get a lot of people out at our parks, and they want to look and see and, you know, it's pretty impressive to see a flood," said St. Paul Parks & Rec flood manager Randy Graff. "But the biggest thing is safety."

They watched water levels rise about 1.5 feet Monday and they're hoping it crests Friday, about five feet higher than its current level.