Relentless rain raises rivers, closes locks on Mississippi


As damp Minnesotans wake to yet another rain-filled morning, rivers running through the region are rising to levels that create unsafe conditions for navigation.

The Pioneer Press reports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed its three Mississippi River locks in the Twin Cities to commercial vessels Wednesday. The locks closed to recreational boaters Sunday.

The closures of the Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks in downtown Minneapolis and Lock and Dam 1 near Minnehaha Park are a result of the recent heavy rainfall. The Star Tribune said the shutdown is expected to last into next week.

The Stillwater Gazette notes water levels on the St. Croix River are approaching flood level. The National Weather Service predicts the river in Stillwater will reach and crest at 86 feet, one foot shy of the minor flood stage, on Tuesday, May 6. Should the water level reach 86 feet, the Stillwater Lift Bridge will be closed due to safety concerns.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says slow no-wake speed limits are in effect for the St. Croix River because of high water levels. Boaters on the St. Croix between Taylors Falls, Minnesota, and Prescott, Wisconsin, must travel at the slowest possible speed to maintain steerage but no faster than 5 miles per hour. The speed limits aim to reduce shoreline erosion in areas not susceptible to wave action at lower water levels. Signs at public accesses alerting boaters are being posted, and marina operators have been notified.

On the Updraft blog, MPR News meteorologist Paul Huttner noted we just lived through the second-wettest April on record. He called the most recent soaker – which dumped another 3 -5 inches on the metro – a "hydro vortex." The Twin Cities has recorded 6.25 inches of precipitation for the month.

But KSTP's weather team says the April showers will give way to better – and drier – weather soon, with fewer showers Friday and slightly warmer temperatures.

KSTP also has a story about the homeowner hassles related to the rainfall. For some, it's wet basements and for others, it's leaky roofs. The station followed a repair company that took 134 calls to address roof leaks in the first few days of the week.

"Just a little bit of water can cause a lot of damage. It can cause mold, mildew, health hazards to the family," said Matt Dlouhy of Roofs-R-Us in St. Paul.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-12-01 at 5.04.39 PM

St. Paul police chief reportedly fires officer who shot naked, unarmed man

Chief Todd Axtell said the officer's use of force was not reasonable.

Trevor May

Report: Trevor May leaving Twins to sign with Mets

The right-hander will sign a two-year deal to head to New York

Car crash

'Grim' milestone: Minnesota's traffic deaths reach 364, tying 2019 total

“With fewer vehicles on the road during the 2020 pandemic, the loss of life on Minnesota roads is beyond disappointing."

Devin Weiland

Charges: Albert Lea man, 21, fired around 90 shots at police, residents

Weiland was arrested after a standoff that lasted more than eight hours.

Body storage warehouse

Body storage warehouse 'ready if needed for COVID-19 fatality management'

The warehouse is currently storing PPE and testing supplies.


Signs come down at Giordano's restaurant in Uptown

It appears the restaurant has closed for good.

State Capitol.

Walz eyes COVID-19 relief package totaling $300-$600 million amid budget surplus

The state forecasted a budget surplus for the remainder of the biennium.

Bar beer

Walz non-committal on extension of restaurant, gym closures

He has suggested that the ban on mixing with people outside your household could continue over Christmas.

scratch lottery ticket

State lottery: Don't give scratch-offs as gifts to minors

The Minnesota Lottery participates in an annual responsible gambling campaign focusing on underage lottery play during the holidays.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota adds 2 more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana

There will be 17 conditions that qualify people to obtain medical marijuana in Minnesota.

Matt Birk

Ex-Viking Matt Birk confirms interest in future run for governor

The next gubernatorial election in Minnesota is Nov. 8, 2022.