The Mississippi River waters have receded and spring flood cleanup is well underway. Parks and streets that closed in April are reopening. Andy Rodriguez, director of the Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation, said it is not clear when all of the city’s riverfront parks will be fully open again.
“We’re still working to clear away a lot of debris the flood left behind,” he said. In some instances city forestry staff need to move downed trees.
The City Council has extended the flood emergency until early June. Emergency declarations are used to seek funding to clean up after floods.
Crest hit 18.24 feet
The National Weather Service reported that the Mississippi River in Saint Paul crested at 18.24 feet on April 27. Waters have declined steadily since then and are now below minor flood stage.
The city has closed its temporary impound lot on Maryland Avenue and moved back to the permanent lot on Barge Channel Road.
Shepard Road/Warner Road was scheduled to reopen between Eagle Parkway and Highway 61 on May 15, but remained closed due to heavy rains that caused the Minnesota River to rise quickly. Sibley and Jackson streets also remained closed from Shepard to Kellogg Boulevard.
Fort Snelling State Park reopened on May 15, but then closed again on May 17 because water from the rising Minnesota River was expected to flood the main park road and all parking lots. The park will remain closed until flood waters recede and flood-related repairs, debris removal and safety issues are addressed. Visitors can check alerts on the park webpage at mndnr.gov/fortsnelling.
The Meeker Island dog park and Desnoyer trail remained closed. The public is asked to not go behind barricades.
Hidden Falls north is open, including the boat launch. Rodriguez said city staff are dealing with “significant” wire theft that has affected the restroom facilities. Portable toilets will be in place as an interim measure.
The Crosby Farm Regional Park restroom facility is open. Watergate Marina and Victoria Park’s river area are open.
“We’re still working to clear away a lot of debris the flood left behind,” said Andy Rodriguez, director of the Saint Paul Department of Parks and Recreation. In some instances city forestry staff need to move downed trees.
Cleanup work continues
Lilydale Regional Park and its trails and roads remain closed, but crews are working to clear them. Water Street/Lilydale Road is closed between Highway 13 and Plato Boulevard.
Harriet Island’s pavilion and adjacent facilities are routinely cleared and secured before flooding. The fireplace, elevator lift and ice machine went back into place on May 10.
The Padelford Packet Company’s boats are operating again. Restrooms have reopened at Raspberry Island and at what is known as the “Showboat” parking lot. The city’s public dock is being assessed on a daily basis and the dock lowered as much as able.
Upper Landing and Chestnut Plaza are closed. So is nearby City House, but officials hoped to have the facility open by mid-May.
Lower Landing is open, but Shepard Road is closed in that area. Fish Hatchery Trail and Pig’s Eye Park are closed. Kelly’s Landing Pavilion is open, but the trail still has silt and large trees to remove.
The Robert Piram Trail on the West Side is open, but users should check with Dakota County Parks on trails there by visiting co.dakota.mn.us/parks.
For more information and updates, visit stpaul.gov/flood.
— Jane McClure
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