Minnesota rains halt Friday, but floodwaters remain a danger


Waterlogged Minnesota will come up for air Friday – there's just a scant chance of rain in the forecast, at least until the weekend. Metro forecast:

Still, much of the state has been drenched by record rains – and flooding is a persistent danger. The Mississippi River in St. Paul is expected to hit major flood stage of 17 feet this weekend, and then continue to rise, possibly cresting at 20 feet later next week, the Pioneer Press reports.

Road closings in Shakopee/Chanhassen, Chaska and Jordan are likely due to the fast-rising Minnesota River, the Chaska Herald Reports.

A flood warning issued at 3 a.m. Friday by the National Weather Service remains in effect through 6:30 p.m. Friday, and it includes a wide portion of the metro area. “Although the rainfall has ended, runoff is not complete and flooding problems will continue,” the weather service notes.

By Thursday night, 3 to 6 inches of rain had fallen across the metro, the Star Tribune reports.

The historic rains created eye-popping scenes across state:

– Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday declared a state of emergency in 35 of Minnesota’s 87 counties, including St. Louis and Koochiching in northern Minnesota, where weary residents have stacked more than 150,000 sandbags with many more to go. About 100 National Guard troops are expected Friday to assist in efforts to beat back swollen rivers and lakes, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

– Dayton, along with Minnesota Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz on Friday planned to assess damage in southern Minnesota, where storms have caused serious crop damage.

– A mudslide on a Mississippi River bluff Thursday night created a dramatic scene when 6 to 8 feet of muck and debris dropped on a Minneapolis road and had emergency officials concerned about the stability of Fairview Riverside Hospital at the University of Minnesota. Part of West Riverview Parkway was closed. At least two motorists narrowly escaped harm, but no one was injured, the Star Tribune reported.

– Basement flooding and sandbagging efforts are widespread in Mankato (photos, video from the Mankato Free Press).

– Scott County southwest of the metro declared a local state of emergency and several areas were evacuated Thursday, including the township of Blakeley.

– A young daredevil kayaker from Tennessee plunged more than 50 feet over the raging rapids of flood-swollen Minnehaha Falls – and survived with only a broken nose.

– In southern Minnesota, a teen from North Redwood rescued two baby deer from the floodwaters. A Richfield family saved ducks from a sewer.

– Northfield looked more like Venice after the Cannon River spilled its banks, FOX 9 reported.

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