Update No. 11 - April 4, 2011
1. River Levels
Flood levels today have held steady around 17.25 feet. It appears the river has “bottomed out” between the first and second crest events. The National Weather Service has been consistent for the past 10 days now predicting that the second crest will be more significant than the first. Presently, without factoring in any future rain, the NWS is predicting the river to crest this coming weekend around 21.2 feet.
At river levels over 21 feet, the temporary levees the City has built to this point will likely all begin holding back water. River Street downtown, near the intersection with Bridge Avenue, has a low elevation point around 21.1 feet. Additional levees may be needed.
As with any forecast, the probabilities change with time and additional information. The City expects additional information in the coming days.
2. Emergency Flood Measures
To date, the emergency bypass of the sanitary sewer system on the west side of the river is working well. On Friday, the City relocated the main bypass pump into the intersection of Bridge Avenue and Highway 12, pumping north to an existing lift station. This is a better solution for what’s anticipated to be a significant duration of the sanitary sewer bypass.
Last week, the City had some problems during one overnight with vandals disabling the bypass pump and flood pumps in the area of the Delano American Legion. Thankfully the City work crews working the overnight shifts noticed the shutdowns before water backups impacted any properties. The Wright County Sheriff’s Department has stepped up its patrols and thankfully there have been no additional attempts to compromise the bypass operation.
As for temporary levees, the City is ready to construct additional levees, if needed. As previously stated, the City will have additional construction needed downtown near Bridge Avenue and the Granite Works should river levels rise near 21 feet. It is anticipated that this construction can be completed within one day; therefore, the City is holding off on the work until at least Wednesday. Hopefully river projections will go down and the work won’t be needed. If projections do hold, however, Wednesday and Thursday will offer enough time to get the necessary work done.
3. Property Owner Impacts
Previous updates have shared impacts regarding specific properties and areas of concern.
At this time, the City is not planning to require any additional residents to plug their sanitary sewer system and/or evacuate their properties. If forecasts and/or river levels increase, additional announcements will be made closer to the crest.
4. Road Closures
River Street between St. Peter Avenue and 2nd Street South
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.
Bridge Avenue between Highway 12 and River Street
This section of road was closed at 6:00pm Thursday, March 24, 2011 and will remain closed indefinitely.
Bridge Avenue West at the Highway 12 Intersection
This section of road will be reduced to one lane beginning on Friday, April 1 and will remain limited indefinitely.