Minnesota Floods Continue


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Levels of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers are expected to crest in the Twin Cities area over the next 2 days. The flood threat remains, in particular after further heavy rain in the north of the state yesterday. Local media say there are currently 8 state roadways or river crossings closed due to flooding across Minnesota.

Governor Dayton and Minnesota’s Executive Council voted unanimously to extend the state of emergency in 35 counties of the state yesterday.

Rain in the North

Parts of northern Minnesota, including Marshall County, saw over 4 inches fall in 24 hours between 23 and 24 June 2014. The Middle River is reported to have burst its banks, affecting parts of the city of Middle River.

Hastings

Meanwhile, south of the Twin Cities, the City of Hastings saw some flooding after the Mississippi broke its banks. Some roads are closed in the city, but as yet there are no reports of any damage to property.

Yesterday river levels at Hastings stood at 17.85 feet, which is almost 3 feet above minor flood stage, and just under the major flood stage mark of 18 feet. However forecasters say the levels are still rising and the river is set to crest on Friday at around 19 feet.

Costs

The city of St Paul claims it has spent $1.7 million on flood protection efforts since the floods first threatened around 10 days ago. In Delano, the authorities there say the flooding from the Crow River has caused around $250,000 damage already. Minnesota state has a new disaster fund of around $3 million and it is likely that federal help will be required.

Iowa Floods Start to Recede

Elsewhere in the Midwest, the flood threat appears to be easing in Iowa. After something like three times the normal average rainfall last week (3.7 inches), flood water appears to be receding across much of Iowa. Although there are still many rivers with levels at flood stage, water levels are now dropping and most of the flooding is confined to roads, farmland and parks rather than homes or property.