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Forecast renews flooding fears as rivers crest

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Raging water in the Mississippi River in St. Paul is moving at 114,000 cubic feet per second, which means it's churning faster than Niagara Falls, according to FOX 9.

The Pioneer Press reported that the Mississippi was at 19.98 feet at 10 p.m. Thursday after apparently cresting at 20.13 feet, about 6 feet above flood stage. It's the highest reading for the river since 2001. Although more rain is expected over the weekend, city officials don't expect the river go to much higher, but the water will not begin to recede for about a week.

The fast-flowing flood waters, which are covering low-lying parks and roads, are creating dangerous conditions in St. Paul. City and county officials warn people who want to get a glimpse of a once-in-a-generation flood to resist their urge to come to the area. MPR News reports that the Department of Natural Resources is warning kayakers and canoeists to stay off many rushing rivers around the state; there's more debris in addition to the danger of the fast moving water.

Flooding prompted the city of St. Paul to move the 400 cars in its impound lot to the state fairgrounds. KSTP adds that the Mississippi in Hastings is also set to crest Friday, and the St. Croix River at Stillwater is set to crest on Friday as well. The St. Croix crest, at 87.6 feet, is 6 feet below the 1965 record high crest.

Meanwhile, the Duluth News Tribune reports that waterlogged communities in the northern part of the state are preparing for more problems with high water; heavy rain in the forecast threatens to renew flooding along the Canadian border. If thunderstorms come as expected, Rainy Lake near International Falls could rise more than a foot in the next week.

Dikes built by the Minnesota National Guard and local volunteers are protecting dozens of homes, cabins and resorts along Rainy Lake. Most of those dikes have about a foot of leeway now, which may not be adequate to handle the additional inch of rain in the forecast.

Rainy Lake’s water level was about 3½ feet above its target level for this time of year.

On Thursday, the National Weather Service in Duluth noted that International Falls has experienced its wettest June on record, with almost 10 inches of rain with four days to go until they close the books on the month.

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