Tricounty News

New Forecast for Sauk River Crest Causes Sandbagging at Fast Pace

Road Closure The Sauk River in Stearns County continues to rise at a fast pace and now stands at a flood level of 7.3 feet. The National Weather Service updated the crest level for the Sauk River to be 7.7' which is expected to hit on Saturday. In comparison, this is still about a ? foot below 2001 flood levels and a foot below 1997 levels. Flood level for the Sauk River is 6 feet. Sandbagging continues to take place in communities along the Sauk River-Sauk Centre, Melrose, Cold Spring, Richmond, Waite Park. Late last night, the Minnesota Department of Transportation closed approximately 6 miles of State Highway 22 north of Richmond, from County Road 43 to Highway 23 until further notice because of water over the road from the Chain of Lakes and the Sauk River. The Mississippi River as well is at flood stage at 9 feet. This morning it rose to 9.3' and is expected to crest at 10 feet on Friday night. This, too, is about a foot below the 2001 flood levels and a foot-and-a-half below the 1997 levels. A reminder to citizens that they can get sand and sandbags from their local government for a small fee, at cost. People who live within city limits should call their local city hall. Others can call Stearns County's flood hotline at 1-877-STCLOUD during business hours from 7:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. or the Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at 320-251-4240 after 10 p.m. Sandbags cost forty-cents a piece and sand 5-dollars a yard. Items will be delivered by the County for free. Residents must do their own sandbagging. All questions or information can be referred to the County's information hotline at 1-877-STCLOUD.