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Flooding closes multiple roadways, parks across Minnesota

Several Minnesota highways, parks close over flooding concerns
Several Minnesota highways, parks close over flooding concerns 02:30

HENDERSON, Minn. — The raging Minnesota River near Henderson is set to reach moderate flood stage this week, which is expected to cause some detours.

Anyone who lives in Henderson will say that flooding is part of life there.

"It's a love-hate relationship with the river and river bottoms," Mayor Keith Swenson said. 

Highway 19 east of Henderson to Highway 169 closed overnight Wednesday with the anticipation of the river seeping onto the roadway.

"We're hoping to get people home from work before MnDOT closes the gates," Swenson said. 

He says high water happens practically every year, so all the rain and rising water the area has seen this year doesn't stick out to him. 

"There's been times where it's happened three times a year and it can last weeks and weeks and weeks," he said. 

Swenson says many people drive to the Twin Cities to Mankato for work, and a detour like this could add a half hour to a commute.

Flooding closes multiple roadways, parks across Minnesota 01:25

Highway 6, as well as Highway 93 on the other side of Henderson, are currently under construction, bringing the total number of closures to three. The highways are notorious for flooding, but thanks to money from the state legislature, they're getting a makeover. The roads will be built up 7-8 feet to avoid flooding and the detours that come with it. 

In Carver County, Highway 30 near New Germany from Yale Avenue to the county line closed earlier this week because of flooding, as did Highway 123 between Watertown and Mayer. 

As the river continues to rise, MnDOT will close a portion of Highway 41 connecting Shakopee and downtown Chaska on Thursday. It's unclear how long the closure will last.

"I work in Chaska sometimes so I take that way so it will impact me, but I guess I'll take the detour around like everyone else," Apple Valley resident Joe Dahl said.

In Jordan, Carver County Public Works says Highway 11 at the Minnesota River will be closed.

Local flooding is also impacting businesses trying to keep their head above water. 

"This is probably the slowest Spring in 5 years," said Darolyn Barnett, a ranch manager at River Valley Ranch. "It's too dangerous to go through the water with the horses because you don't know what's under the water and how much it's washed out the trail. It coule wash out the trail quite a bit — it's all about safety."

In Delano, crews have begun installing a flood wall near the Crow River. 

The rain isn't just filling rivers, it's also saturating grass. In Savage, organizers of Dan Patch Days canceled portions of the popular event held at Savage Community Park. In an update on its website, organizers said, "This weather and rain for so many days leading up to the event has made the park too wet for staking down tents, inflatables and vehicles."

"It's sad. It really brings the community together and there are a lot of fun activities that happen and having it canceled due to the weather is just a downer," Savage resident Josh Wahlen said. 

Fort Snelling State Park is also experiencing flooding. The DNR says just 25% of the park's trails are accessible.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor the MnDOT website for the most up-to-date information on highway closures.

MnDOT reminds drivers that it is illegal to drive around barriers and divers can be fined up to $1,000 and spend 90 days in jail for doing so. They also advise to never drive through standing water. Six inches of water is enough to reach the bottom of most cars causing them to stall or lose control. 

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