Have you packed your sandbags today?

According to the Chaska Herald, downtown could get a bit wet this spring:

“A wet fall and heavy winter snow indicate a potential for flooding in the Twin Cities and across Minnesota,” stated a press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

That could include the potential closure of the Highway 41 bridge just south of downtown Chaska. According to the National Weather Service’s spring flood outlook, there is a 72 percent chance that the Minnesota River will encroach on Highway 41, and a 95 percent chance it will inundate Highway 101 in Shakopee.

The river crossing last closed due to flooding in April 2001. Back then, the Minnesota River rose to its third highest level of the century, peaking at 14.27 feet above flood stage, and leaving the roadway out of commission for nearly a month.

Using National Weather Service data for Jordan (the nearest measuring station) there is currently a 90 percent chance that the river will reach 6.4 feet above flood stage, requiring closure of the Chaska’s three flood gates.

Chaska city officials are confident that the levees will be able handle this year’s potential high water. “The city is in excellent shape since we did the flood control project,” said City Engineer Bill Monk.

However, at 6.4 feet above flood stage, the water is well on its way to reaching the Athletic Park grandstand.

We’re still new to downtown, so we’ve never experienced the Minnesota River at flood stage. We heard when the bridge is closed that downtown gets eerily quiet.

We have what you call a “wet basement,” with no sump pump, so I’ve built shelves in my basement to ensure things aren’t on the floor. Hopefully that will be enough.

I don’t really want to go fishing off my front porch.

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