Flood emergency declared in 28 counties; roads closed

Second Street closed
Barricades close Second Street in Moorhead, Minn. on March 15, 2010 -- one of the first streets to be flooded by the rising Red River.
MPR Photo/Dan Gunderson

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has declared a flood emergency in 28 Minnesota counties.

The flood emergency stretches from northwest Minnesota into the southern part of the state and over to the Twin Cities. The action includes activating the Guard to help with flood preparations and emergency relief.

The main area of concern is the Red River Valley, where sandbagging operations are under way. Waters are also rising all across the state. In the Minnesota River Valley at Montevideo, the spring runoff will be just shy of major flood stage this weekend.

In Delano, on the western edge of the metro area, the South Fork of the Crow River is predicted to reach nearly three feet over flood stage by Saturday morning. At that same time, the Mississippi in St. Paul should reach flood stage.

Ice jams are a problem all across the state, but so far have not caused major damage.

Road closings

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has closed the road linking Henderson, Minnesota, with U.S. Highway 169, due to flooding.

MnDot announced the closure of State Highway 93 just before dawn this morning. It's a low-lying four mile stretch of highway that runs from 169 just west of LeSeuer to Main Street in Henderson. High water on the Minnesota River has made the road impassable.

The Department is also warning motorists of minor flooding in the city of Albert Lea.

In northwestern Minnesota, U.S. Highway 75, the main road that runs up the east side of the Red River in Minnesota is blocked. State transportation officials say flooding has forced a short detour in the small town of Kent, about 40 miles northwest of Fergus Falls.

Also in northwestern Minnesota, flooding on the Marsh River has closed Highway 200 west of town.

The closures are expected to last about three weeks, or until the water subsides.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.