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Montevideo ready as Minnesota River expected to crest

Volunteer firefighters and public works employees with the City of Montevideo add sandbags to the city's 1969 levee atop an added 2 feet of clay placed on it by Duininck's Inc. The city is preparing for the Minnesota River to possibly crest late Friday at 20.59 feet, compared to a record crest of 21.7 feet in 1997. Tom Cherveny / Forum News Service

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — Workers with Duininck Inc. added two feet of clay to the 1969 dike in Montevideo on Thursday morning, March 28, fighting slick conditions caused by a brief rain to do so. The sandbags being stacked on it by firemen and city workers are to provide more freeboard just in case waters exceed the crest of 20.77 feet which is expected late Friday afternoon, according to Mayor Jim Curtiss.

The projected crest compares to a 21.7 foot crest reached in 1997, the city’s worst flood.

Waters reached the 20-foot mark in Montevideo on Thursday morning, topping the 18-foot level that triggered a series of actions. The city shut off sewer service to the Smith Addition, which includes eight businesses and 17 homes. The shutoff also affects the city of Watson, which sends its wastewater via a pipeline to the Montevideo treatment plant.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed the highway near the 212 bridge, where water tops the road. The detour route follows a county road to Wegdahl, where an earthen dike is being used to hold water back along a Yellow Medicine County road connecting to Highway 212.

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