Flood waters to drop below major flood stage

SAINT PAUL – With the water levels of the Mississippi River expected to fall below “major flood stage” by the end of the day Tuesday, July 1, flood recovery efforts are now fully underway in Saint Paul. City, state and federal experts will be on site over the next two weeks to inspect and assess damages and to ensure public safety before roads, parks and trails can be safely reopened or scheduled for repairs.

“I would like to thank the residents of Saint Paul for their patience as we continue to do what is necessary to deal with this flood,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “Though we will work as quickly as we can to reopen roads, parks and trails, we are taking every precaution necessary to ensure the areas are safe before doing so.”

After flood waters recede, there are several steps that must be taken before roads, trails and parks can be reopened.

  • After the waters fully recede, the areas that flooded must be carefully inspected to ensure the stability of the areas remains in tact
  • After an area is deemed safe, it must dry out to a level that is sufficient to accommodate the heavy equipment required to perform necessary cleanup
  • Cleanup efforts can begin
  • Repairs begin or areas can be safely reopened

Timeline for recovery

Depending upon the amount of silt left from flood waters and whether or not repairs will be required, reopening parks and roads can take anywhere from several days to multiple weeks.

“We continue to ask for the public’s patience as we work methodically to assess and either repair or reopen the City’s closed parks, trails and roads,” said Saint Paul Emergency Management Director Rick Larkin. “After the 2011 floods, it took approximately one-month to reopen all parks – but the current flood is leaving much higher levels of silt behind, requiring a lengthier clean-up effort.”

In addition to removing the silt off of roadways and parks, park structures and play areas require thorough sanitizing before they can be reopened for public use.

More information

United Way 211 Twin Cities is continuing to monitor flood recovery efforts across Minnesota. Saint Paul residents are encouraged to call 211 (or 1-800-543-7709) to access flood recovery resources and to request a cleanup kit, if needed.

Residents are also urged to continue to use commonsense and observe all path, park and road closures, which are clearly marked. Stay tuned to www.stpaul.gov/floodprep for up-to-date information on the reopening of roads, parks and trails.