MONTEVIDEO - The Minnesota River crested in both Montevideo and Granite Falls with both communities avoiding any major issues.
In Montevideo, the river crested Friday evening at 21.3 feet, the fourth highest crest ever recorded. Mayor Jim Curtiss said the city’s highest crest was 23.90 feet in 1997.
This year’s crest is 14 feet feet above flood stage. It’s very close to the 21.68 foot crest recorded in 1969.
The mayor said the city was able to complete work to shore up its 1969 levee on Friday. It had been raised two feet with clay in anticipation of the high waters. Volunteer firemen and city workers bolstered the levee by adding sandbags to it on Thursday and Friday.
It’s now a matter of monitoring the levee for seepage or any breeches, said the mayor. He noted that there remains a lot of water upstream in the Lac qui Parle reservoir. The river is expected to remain near its crest level until late Tuesday or Wednesday.
The city had turned off sewer service to the Smith Addition and other low-lying areas, and capped storm sewer lines along U.S. Highway 212 earlier in the week.
Roads in the area remain impacted. U.S. Highway 212 is closed between Montevideo and Granite Falls. Water is running over the highway at the bridge south of Montevideo and at the intersection near Wegdahl.
The Minnesota River crested early Saturday morning in Granite Falls at 893.42 feet, which ranks as the seventh highest crest. The crest nearly matches the 893.55 crest of 2011, said Mayor Dave Smiglewski. The city’s highest crest was 899.84 feet in 1997.
The mayor reported Saturday that the high waters are being held in check. The city’s volunteer firemen had added sandbags to a sandbag wall protecting the Yellow Medicine County Museum on Friday afternoon.
The mayor said it will remain important to continue monitoring the river levels. While the river has crested, “it doesn’t mean it can’t go up again.” The river crested twice in 2001, he pointed out.
Roads in the Granite Falls area remain impacted by the high waters as well, with State Highway 67 closed southeast of the Granite Run golf course.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation also reports that Highway 40 is closed at the Milan bridge west of Milan.
Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine and Renville counties all report road closings at locations along the Minnesota River.