Flood notebookWarmer weather has hit the Red Wing area, but flooding remains mild for now, with the Mississippi River yet to reach flood stage.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
Warmer weather has hit the Red Wing area, but flooding remains mild for now, with the Mississippi River yet to reach flood stage.
The river crested at 13.38 feet on the last day of March. Levels gradually went down and reached a low of 12.96 Tuesday, but have been rising slightly since then.
The National Weather Service expects a second crest at 14.4 feet, just above the 14-foot flood level, by Wednesday. Friday morning, the river level was measured at 13.55 feet, above the first crest level.
With warm temperatures and a few rainy days predicted this weekend and next week, city officials have said they will keep an eye on rain amounts and flood levels in the area.
Cannon Valley Trail opens
The Cannon Valley Trail officially opened Friday. The trail had been closed due to snow, ice and other concerns.
Starting at the beginning of this month, trail users age 18 and older are required to have a wheel passes for bicycles, in-line skates, skateboards and other similar equipment with wheels used on the trail. Wheelchairs are exempted from this requirement.
Daily wheel passes are $4 and a season pass, which runs through Nov. 1, costs $25 this year.
The 19.7-mile trail connects the communities of Red Wing, Cannon Falls and Welch and attracts nearly 100,000 users each year, according to the Cannon Valley Joint Powers Board.
Dayton declares flood emergencies
Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order Wednesday declaring flood emergencies in 46 counties and two American Indian communities, including Goodhue County and Prairie Island Indian Community.
The order allows the state to provide a variety of help to local governments, including starting assessments of damage.
The National Guard can now be ordered to prepare to fight floods or provide relief and can buy or lease goods needed for the aid. Employees and equipment from many state agencies, including the Department of Transportation, also are now available to provide assistance.
Floods have minimal impact on local communities
Weather conditions in the fall and winter looked prime for extensive flooding this spring - flood levels were predicted to rival the highest levels of 1965 - but cooler weather and other factors have made for a relatively calm flood season, said Goodhue County Emergency Management Director Diana Richter-Biwer.
The Zumbro and Cannon rivers crested with minimal impact on area homes and businesses, she said. And unless there is major rainfall, those rivers are unlikely to flood again this spring.
In Wacouta and Florence townships there are some homes with water surrounding them, she said, but residents haven't reported damage to their properties.
In Red Wing, parks were the main areas affected by the waters, Richter-Biwer said.
Levee Road, Ikata Drive, Colvill Park, East Fifth Street by Barn Bluff and most of Bay Point Park remain closed.