Flood casualties: Wedding ceremonies, roller coaster, 1840s landmark


Many flood-stricken areas across Minnesota have not yet begun to dry out, but damage is already being assessed across the state.

Among the flood victims: planned outdoor weddings, a roller coaster and an 1840s landmark (below).

A total damage estimate for the state is still in the works with many areas still underwater. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency have joined local officials in flood-damaged counties to begin cobbling together cost figures for the flooding, KSTP reports. (See a Minnesota flooded-areas map here.)

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, and Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken planned to talk to President Barack Obama Thursday about flood damage; a request for federal aid is likely, officials say. Dayton has said that if the state depletes a $3 million emergency fund, he could call for a special session of the Legislature to release more money.

City infrastructure, including numerous stretches of roadway, are still underwater or were damaged by the heavy rain last week.

In the little town of Mendota, MPR News talks to a resident who fears a landslide if the road above his home gives way (right).

Other signs of damage are widespread:

St. Paul

The Mississippi River was expected to crest Thursday night in St. Paul at about 20.2 feet, more than 3 feet above major flood stage, but short of the 26-foot record set in 1965.

Much of Harriet Island Park and Raspberry Island near downtown St. Paul have disappeared under the murky water.

The river hit 20 feet by noon Thursday (you can track flooding updates on St. Paul's flood page). Photos of the affected areas in St. Paul have been dramatic – MPR News has a new slideshow.

Flooding at Harriet and Raspberry Island has left brides planning weddings there in tears, FOX 9 reported. Also in St. Paul, flooding forced the evacuation of a police impound lot, where officials said they might have to move up to 500 cars, KARE 11 reported.

Cottage Grove

In Cottage Grove, the Mississippi River may have claimed its oldest victim: a kiln used to burn limestone for mortar and cement that dates to the 1840s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, KSTP reports.

"Before any of our towns or little townships existed, this limestone kiln was here," Herb Reckinger, vice president of the South Washington Heritage Society, told the station.

Valley Fair

The Valley Fair amusement park in Shakopee is still open for business, although three attractions are closed, including the Excalibur roller coaster, part of which is submerged by floodwaters from the swollen Minnesota River, FOX 9 reports.

Much of the parking lot is submerged, too, so visitors were asked to car pool, KARE 11 reports.

In case you missed it, the aerial photography company Fresh Sights captured a shot of flooding at Valley Fair:

A stunning bit of aerial video from Kinsman Photography LLC shows more flooding in Shakopee, along Highway 101.

More rain

Meanwhile, more heavy rain is on the way this weekend. The National Weather Service says 2 to 3 inches – possibly more in the flood-soaked southwest – is coming through the weekend:

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