Update No. 1 - March 23, 2011
1. River Levels
As of 12:00 Noon on March 23, 2011 the river is currently at 15.68 feet. The National Weather Service is predicting a rise to a crest level sometime this coming weekend. The prediction is somewhat vague, as National Weather Service officials are somewhat uncertain what the mixture of rain and snow during the last 24 hours will have on the river levels. They have placed a crest estimate at 20 feet until they can further determine the impact of the moisture content and the rate of melt. They believe the crest will ultimately fall in range between 19.5 and 21.5 feet. It is important to note that due to the complexity of melt the National Weather Service forecasts have been changing every 12 hours. Although the information in this update is current, the City expects forecasts to change and ultimately City Staff and property owner’s actions will change as a result. One of the unique aspects of the predicted crests is its length and duration. Although the crest of 20 feet is predicted to happen on Saturday, the river is likely to stay at major flood level for close to a week.
The City will continue to publish additional flood updates as information becomes available. These updates will be posted on the City of Delano’s website, Facebook and Twitter and sent out through E-Newsletter.
2. Action Steps
On Thursday, March 24, 2011 the City will begin constructing levees at 7:30 AM. The first levee to be constructed will be on the west side of the river on the Xcel Energy property along Bridge Avenue. Levee construction will consist of concrete barriers and clay. The City will be hauling clay from a stock pile in the Delano Crossings area and deposit it behind the concrete barriers. This levee will be installed to protect properties west of the river including the Delano American Legion, Absolute Automotive and other Highway 12 businesses along with a number of residential properties. This levee will be needed once river levels exceed 19 feet.
Once construction is complete, the City crews will begin to build a temporary levee along South River Street near the Second Street intersection. It is expected this construction will begin late Thursday morning. The temporary levee will be the same type of construction as the levee by the Xcel Energy building. (In the event the National Weather Service forecasts change before Thursday morning and decrease the crest, this activity may not be necessary.)
After South River Street, the City will then begin construction of a temporary levee on the east side of the river downtown. This levee will begin north of the Post Office on the west side of River Street and will continue all the way to the Granite Works property. (In the event the National Weather Service forecasts change before Thursday morning and decrease the crest, this activity may not be necessary.) The City will be leaving a gap in the temporary levee at the Bridge Avenue intersection in order to keep Bridge Avenue operating as long as possible. Further announcements to close Bridge Avenue (if needed) will be forthcoming.
3. Property Owner Impacts
At this time, the City is not requiring any plugging of sanitary sewer or evacuation of property. Residents in the floodplain area may have impacts due to levee seepage, snow melt or rain waters as the City approaches its crest level and until river levels drop in the coming weeks.
4. Road Closures
* Both of the road closure notices listed below are tentative, as forecasts for river levels continue to change. As of the time of this release, the anticipated road closures are as follows:
This section will be closed beginning Thursday, March 24, 2011 until river levels subside and the temporary levee in this area is no longer needed. Traffic will be rerouted onto 2nd Street and St. Peter Avenue.
This section will be closed beginning Thursday, March 24, 2011 until river levels subside and the temporary levee in this area is no longer needed. Traffic will be rerouted onto Railroad Avenue, Second Street and Elm Avenue.