Updated flood photos: Cities warily watch rising rivers


City officials around Minnesota are anxiously watching rising rivers, swollen by record rains last week and now threatening city infrastructure.

Flooding Tuesday was being carefully monitored in cities including Chaska, Delano, Belle Plaine and Mendota.

On Tuesday morning in the metro, commuters found closed roads around the edges of the Twin Cities, the Star Tribune reports. The Lift Bridge in Stillwater was still closed due to flooding.

In St. Paul, the Mississippi River was up to 19 feet early Tuesday and is expected to crest Thursday at about 20.5 feet (14 feet marks minor flood stage; major flooding happens at 17 feet). (WCCO explores how officials forecast flood crests in its "Good Question" feature.)

Before/after pics by Kristin Amsden posted to Imgur show the river's dramatic rise in St. Paul in recent hours:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Monday declared an emergency – joining at least 13 other Minnesota cities and counties that have made similar declarations – which allows the city access to federal funds, should those become available. St. Paul has already spent $1.7 million in preparation, MPR News reports.

St. Paul has updating flood information on its website, including live images from around the city.

Harriet Island overlooking downtown St. Paul is flooding:

Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Dayton has announced that a state of emergency has been extended another 30 days for 35 counties.

Last week, Dayton visited flood damage in far northern and southern Minnesota and called the scale of the floods overwhelming. With some of the highest water now in the Twin Cities area, the Star Tribune reports Dayton plans to tour metro-area damage Tuesday and will discuss it with President Barack Obama during his Minneapolis visit on Thursday.

Federal disaster assistance to compensate Minnesota for washed out roads and flooded homes and farm fields may not come until after the water recedes. But on Monday the U.S. Department of Transportation authorized $750,000 to help repair damaged roads. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called it a downpayment to help Minnesotans begin repairs.

Flooding updates

In Red Wing, the Mississippi River was expected to crest Friday at about 14.9 feet, which is considered "moderate" flood stage.

In Blakeley, residents evacuated last week were told it could be two weeks until they can return to their homes, KSTP reports.

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In Delano, the Crow River crested late Monday night just over 21 feet, the second-highest level ever:

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More images that tell the story:





Flooding woes in Prior Lake could last until the fall, the mayor says, FOX 9 reports.

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Unfortunately for Minnesota, more rain is in the forecast for late this week:

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