Update No. 10 - April 1, 2011
1. River Levels
As of 10:30pm on April 1, 2011 the river is currently at 17.64 feet. The river has continued to decline over the past four days and is projected to continue it’s decent for the next 24 hours. Upstream, the river at Cosmos is rising and the decline at Mayer is starting to level off. The NWS is predicting a second crest, beginning sometime this weekend. The City expects to be facing similar, if not higher, river levels as this recent crest in the later part of next week.
The NWS has placed the South Fork of the Crow River at Delano amongst the most vulnerable river points for the upcoming rain/snow storm this weekend. Depending on how much precipitation falls, the level of the second crest could be more or less than the first crest. The City is expecting the NWS predictions issued next Monday morning will most likely be the most accurate of the weekend once there’s a better handle on the rain/snow totals from Sunday and Monday.
As with any forecast, the probabilities change with time and additional information. The City expects additional information in the coming days.
2. Action Steps
The City has instituted a new bypass of sanitary sewer and is no longer using the downtown river bridge for sanitary sewer bypass. Instead, the City is pumping from the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Highway 12 north to the lift station along Highway 12 west of the American Legion Club. This will be a better temporary solution than the downtown bridge.
The City is also readying for the implementation of its flood plan to handle river levels higher than 20 feet. When the river channel contained a good amount of ice, the City constructed some of the temporary levees needed for river heights higher than 20 feet. This was done to protect against sudden river backups due to ice jams.
As of today, the NWS prediction of 20.5 feet next week (without rainfall) has the City taking precautions to be ready to act. Similar to last week, the City will likely hold action steps as long as safely possible to account for changes in forecast and actual river levels.
3. Property Owner Impacts
Previous updates have shared impacts regarding specific properties and areas of concern.
While the downtown bridge gains some flexibility with the new bypass plan, residents on Bridge Avenue West, Buffalo Street, and the Merriman Drive area will be impacted. Traffic will most likely be one lane only at the Highway 12 intersection with Bridge Avenue West for an extended period of time. The City is encouraging that this lane be reserved for eastbound traffic entering the Highway 12 intersection from Highway 12. Traffic from Highway 12 looking to turn into these neighborhoods will be advised to use the 72nd Street/Buffalo Street access near the Delano Theatre.
4. Road Closures
This section will be closed beginning Friday, March 25, 2011 until river levels subside and the temporary levee in this area is no longer needed. Traffic will be rerouted at 7th Street to the south and Franklin Avenue to the north.
This section of road was closed at 6:00pm Thursday, March 24, 2011 and will remain closed indefinitely.
This section of road will be reduced to one lane beginning on Friday, April 1 and will remain limited indefinitely.