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All eyes on the rising Cottonwood River in southern Minnesota

Major flooding is expected in parts of New Ulm by Friday morning.

All eyes are on the Cottonwood River in southern Minnesota as it continues to rise following Tuesday's extreme rainfall. 

Late Wednesday night, residents of the River Bluffs apartment complex in Springfield were evacuated due to concerns of the rising river. Those people were either sheltered by the American Red Cross or took up housing with family and friends.  

According to the National Weather Service, the Cottonwood River's level near Springfield was 32.69 feet around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, narrowly missing the record level of 32.89 feet set in 2010. 

The river has since dropped and as of 7:30 a.m. Thursday it was at 31.58 feet. 

But as the river appears to have crested near Springfield, the situation is worsening further to the east in and around New Ulm. 

At 4 a.m. Thursday the Cottonwood River at New Ulm was measured at 13.3 feet, and by 8 a.m. it was at 14.4 feet and still rising. It is expected crest on Friday morning at 18 feet. 

At that level, major flooding is expected. 

Cottonwood Street, which is runs adjacent to the river on both sides of the road, was closed early Thursday due to flooding. 

"Cottonwood Street is the only real area that we expect it to cause a problem or issue," said Officer Eric Gramentz. "This is pretty common whenever it floods. The Minicon Park parking lot and boat ramp access to the Minnesota River is also closed at this time due to flooding. There are no homes in New Ulm that are impacted by the flood waters."

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Fortunately, no rain is in the forecast for at least the next few days. 

We'll update the situation as flooding worsens. 

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