Second crest to cause problems to communities along Minnesota Riverby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
Worthington, Minn. — The Mayor of Granite Falls says a predicted second crest on the Minnesota River this week will force the closing of some highways in the southwest Minnesota community.
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The river is forecast to crest on Wednesday, a foot and a half higher than last week's initial peak.
Mayor Dave Smiglewski says two major arteries, Highways 212 and 67 were closed as of noon Monday. Smiglewski said the main snowmelt is coming into the river from west and north of the city.
"We had a fairly warm weekend and that melted a lot of snow. It must have melted some snow up above us," Smiglewski said. "So we're adjusting some of our flood prep work here in Granite Falls."
As many as 8,700 vehicles a day travel on a stretch of 212 and 67 near the river according to a 2009 count.
The mayor says the city's suspension foot bridge over the Minnesota River has also been closed. The National Weather Service says the river will crest a second time on Thursday, about a foot and a half above last week's crest. Smiglewski says other than the road closings the second crest should not cause any new problems.
The predicted second crest of the Minnesota River will also cause problems for residents of Montevideo, about 15 miles upriver from Granite Falls. City Manager Steven Jones says the new crest means the city will discontinue sewage service to about 20 homes in flood prone Smith's addition. Portable toilets will be placed in the neighborhood; he expects most residents will stay in their homes.
Jones also says the city has not yet made a decision on whether to build a 1,500-foot long temporary levee on Highway 212.
"You know this is going to be our second peak," Jones says. "Maybe it's the last peak, that's our hope."
Jones says one plus for the city is that expected weekend rains did not occur. There is a forecast for more rain though later in the week.