River expected to crest this coming weekend in Montevideo, Granite Falls
The Minnesota River is expected to crest in Montevideo next weekend at 21 feet, about two feet below record flood stage.
Revised flood forecasts were issued over the weekend by the National Weather Service.
The river reached 13.77 feet in Montevideo as of Sunday evening. Although still below flood stage, water levels are anticipated to continue rising this week.
The forecast indicates the Minnesota River over the next 24 hours will top 14 feet, which is flood stage. Major flooding at 17.5 feet and above is expected sometime between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The predicted crest of 21.6 feet is just shy of record flooding in 1969, when the river crested at 21.68 feet. The record of 23.9 feet was reached during historic spring flooding in 1997. The Minnesota River reached 22.15 feet in 2001.
At 18.5 feet the city of Montevideo has to shut off sewer service to the Smith Addition, barricade a railroad crossing and take other precautionary measures.
Less severe flooding is anticipated downstream at Granite Falls, where measurements taken Sunday put the level at 883.9 feet. Flood stage is 888.5 feet.
The revised forecast has the river cresting at 892 feet this coming weekend, high enough to affect state Highway 67 south of town.
Melting snow and ice jams were being reported late last week along the upper Minnesota River and its tributaries. An ice jam caused the Sauk River to rise rapidly Saturday night in Waite Park, flooding a riverside restaurant and forcing the emergency evacuation of 44 people.
In Kandiyohi County, several township roads have been closed to spring thaw wash-outs. The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said at least half a dozen locations are affected throughout the county.