Floodwaters reach Valleyfair in Shakopee

Renegade roller coaster
The Renegade roller coaster at Valleyfair in Shakopee, Minn. is seen as flood waters rise on March 29, 2011.
Courtesy of the Minn. DHS

The Minnesota River in Shakopee, Savage and Jordan in Scott County has begun to recede, but some stretches of township roads and state highways remain closed.

An aerial photo taken this week by state homeland security officials shows water partially submerging a roller coaster at the Valleyfair amusement park near Shakopee.

"It is quite an awesome picture," said Chris Weldon, Scott County's emergency management director. "That's a good example of some of the things along the river valley that we're looking at in terms of flooding. There's places all along the river where we have roads closed. It's a good reminder of what that river's actually doing or can do when it floods."

Weldon adds it's too early to tell when the roads will reopen.

"I wish I could give people a good solid answer. But it depends on the weather -- if it warms up really quickly, how much rain or snow we get, and what's going to happen to our west," said Weldon. "We're still looking at snow in the northern part of the state, and probably the northern part of the Minnesota River watershed."

Local officials are monitoring the river, and say possible precipitation in the forecast for early next week could contribute to a second crest.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation last week closed river crossings at Highways 101 and 41 due to high water.

MnDOT officials say they don't have a clear idea when the highways will reopen -- and say it can still be a few days after the water recedes.

"That's because, for example, debris may need to be cleared, any washed-out sections of shoulder or sub-base may need minor attention or guardrail may need a quick repair in sections," said MnDOT spokesman Todd Kramascz.

Additional buses in the area are helping commuters get around and relieve traffic.

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