Floodwaters receding, cleanup continues across much of Minnesota; more heavy rain possible

Floodwaters from a river cover a roadway
Floodwaters from the Mississippi River cover Lilydale Road and surround the Pool and Yacht Club on Saturday, as seen from the Highway 13 bridge in Lilydale.
Andrew Krueger | MPR News

As once-inundated highways reopen and flood cleanup continues across Minnesota, another round of heavy rain is possible late Monday into Tuesday.

A flood watch is in effect from Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening for much of north-central and northeast Minnesota.

The National Weather Service said three-quarters to one-and-a-half inches of rain is possible by Tuesday evening from the Iron Range and International Falls east to Ely and the North Shore.

“Heavy rainfall is once again possible across areas of northern Minnesota that have not yet fully recovered from several rounds of heavy rain and flooding in late June,” the Weather Service reported. “Stream flows are above normal and soils are saturated.”

Heavy rain is possible in southern Minnesota, too. Forecasters said they don’t expect it to significantly affect river crests, but it could potentially prolong the duration of flooding.

Water levels along the Minnesota River continued falling over the weekend, allowing the Minnesota Department of Transportation to reopen U.S. Highway 169 between Mankato and Le Sueur.

High water encroaches on a park and bridge
The Mississippi River — in major flood stage — encroaches on a park and bridge near Lower Grey Cloud Island in Cottage Grove on Thursday. The road has been closed until water levels recede.
City of Cottage Grove

The agency said there may be lingering lane closures due to high water. Bridges across the Minnesota River at Le Sueur, Henderson and Chaska remain closed.

Downstream along the Mississippi, the river crested over the weekend at St. Paul and Hastings. It’s at or near its crest at Red Wing and Lake City. The St. Croix River at Stillwater is also at or near its crest.

A stretch of Shepard and Warner roads near downtown St. Paul remained closed Monday, along with part of State Highway 60 in Wabasha.

In southwest Minnesota, westbound Highway 60 between Windom and Worthington remained closed Monday due to flooding. The eastbound lanes have reopened. Find more road closure updates on MnDOT’s 511 site.

The flooding in recent weeks prompted a federal disaster declaration over the weekend, as damage assessments continue in communities including Cook, Waterville, Mankato, Windom and Jackson.

An excavator tears into a house-like building
Blue Earth County took possession of the Dam Store in Rapidan and destroyed the structure on Friday, before it could be swept away by the Blue Earth River.
Courtesy of Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office

County, state and federal authorities also continue to monitor the Rapidan Dam southwest of Mankato, where the Blue Earth River carved a new path around the structure last week.

As erosion from that new channel moved closer to the nearby Rapidan Dam Store, crews on Friday demolished the historic building to prevent it from falling into the river and potentially affecting properties downstream.