Storms shut down Cannon Valley TrailHigh winds coupled with rains left some without power, flooded roads and caused enough damage to shut down the entire Cannon Valley Trial.
By: Danielle Killey, The Republican Eagle
High winds coupled with rains left some without power, flooded roads and caused enough damage to shut down the entire Cannon Valley Trial.
It could be three to four weeks, at least, before the Red Wing end of the trail can be repaired and reopen, trail manager Scott Roepke said.
“That would be the longest closure I have ever been involved with,” he said.
He said he is hoping to reopen the Cannon Falls end by this weekend, but that could be delayed if the storms continue.
Roepke said right now he estimates repairs could run roughly $200,000, but they are still assessing the damage. Already he knows there are sections of trail missing, a bridge dislodged and some landslides along the trail, he said.
“It’s pretty bad,” he said.
In preparation for more storms, the trail staff has been clearing out debris around bridges and making sure culverts are open so the water has some place to go.
The Cannon Valley Trail crews are working with Goodhue County, Red Wing and Cannon Falls public works, along with its own crews, to clean out and repair the area.
The area is under a flood watch through Wednesday night and more thunderstorms are expected. They could bring with them torrential rainfall reaching rates of two inches per hour, and up to four inches of rain are likely Wednesday night, the National Weather Service predicted.
More storms are expected late Friday through Saturday evening.
There are barricades and notices that the trail is closed, and going on the trail will hinder the repair process and could be dangerous, Roepke said.
“In order for us to do our job safely and for their safety also, we would strongly encourage people to respect the barriers,” he said.
The set of storms also has caused damage to area roads. Goodhue County 7 near the intersection with County Road 41 has closed because of road erosion, and a portion of Dakota County 68/Goodhue County 18 is shut down as well due to flooding on the Dakota County side.
Those roads could open as early as late this week, depending on any damage from upcoming rains, Goodhue County Public Works Director Greg Isakson said.
There also is a hole in one lane of County Road 40 near Cannon Falls, which has restricted traffic to one lane. Other roads are under water or damaged, he said.
Maintenance crews began repairing the worst parts of County Road 7 after the first wave of storms, and are hoping it won’t be undone.
“We were on the offensive, working to rebuild the road,” Isakson said. “Today we’re playing defense … working on trying to protect the work we have done.”
More than 10,000 customers with Dakota Electric were without power after the storms, but by noon Tuesday that number had dropped to about 1,300. Most were expected to be restored by that night, spokesman Joe Miller said.
While about 40,000 Xcel Energy customers in the metro area were without power on Tuesday morning, there was little effect in Red Wing, Xcel spokeswoman Patti Nystuen said.
But Red Wing residents had complaints of their own.
On the east side of town especially, there have been a lot of issues with water in basements, Red Wing Public Works Deputy Director Lynn Nardinger said.
Portions of Old Highway 19 are shut down because of washouts, he said, but the city hasn’t had to close any roads in town. Most of the damage is in rural Red Wing, where all of the gravel roads have seen washouts, he said.
“The ground’s so saturated, there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it from happening,” Nardinger said Tuesday. “We’ve just been kind of temporarily fixing them up until we see how much rain we get tonight and tomorrow.”
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