Road closings, damage assessments continue following Minn. floods

Highway 169
An aerial view of Highway 169 in St. Peter on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2010. Water is seen covering the highway after heavy rains caused flooding in several areas of southern Minnesota.
MPR Photo/Bob Collins

Flood waters from last week's rain continue to close roads and divert motorists in southern Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed Highway 66 southwest of Mankato Monday night, when engineers found floodwaters had damaged a pier of a historic bridge carrying the Red Jacket Trail. MnDOT says the bridge is in danger of collapse where it crosses over Highway 66.

Other major arteries in the area are also closed, including US 169 between Mankato and St. Peter, and between St. Peter and LeSeuer.

In the Metro area, authorities also closed Highway 41 near Chaska Monday. That's in addition to the previous Highway 101 closing in Shakopee. The closing are causing significant backups on US 169 and I-35W as motorists are diverted onto alternate routes across the Minnesota River.

The North Central River Forecast Center says the flooding will likely peak in Shakopee on Thursday afternoon, and will stay high through the first half of next week.

Teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state's emergency management division continued to assess the flood damage.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville says four teams from FEMA and the state Division of Homeland Security Emergency Management planned to visit individual homeowners in eight counties Tuesday, including Martin, Blue Earth, Steele, Rice, Faribault, Waseca, Wabasha and Dodge counties.

Neville said teams are looking for uninsured losses, concentration of damages and the impact on communities. He said they hope to have a preliminary total on individual damage by the end of week.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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