Flood waters expected to level off | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Flood waters expected to level off

Moderate flood stage reached at Aitkin

Posted: May 30, 2012 - 11:15pm

Flood waters leveled off on the Mississippi River in Brainerd Wednesday night, but the flood warning remains.

The flood warning continues for the Mississippi River near Aitkin, Brainerd and Fort Ripley. Heavy rain from the past week ranging from 4 to 7 inches pushed river levels higher.

“The rainfall has ended, however, water will continue routing to the mainstem of the Mississippi resulting in a prolonged period of high water,” the National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth reported Wednesday.

While still in a minor flood stage, the NWS noted the Mississippi River is already going down slightly at 14.46 feet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, down from 14.58 feet Wednesday morning. Moderate flooding on this segment of the river is reached at 16 feet when it may cause flooding of at least one private home. Flood stage begins at 13 feet.

The river’s historic flood crest in Brainerd was reached at 16.7 feet on April 30, 2001.

Downstream at Fort Ripley, flood waters are still expected to climb but fall short of moderate flood levels. The Mississippi River at Fort Ripley was at 11.61 feet as of 7 p.m. Wednesday. Flood stage is 10 feet. The NWS predicts the river at Fort Ripley will reach 12.2 feet by Friday or Saturday — putting the boat landing and parking lot at the public access underwater — before it begins to fall.

At Aitkin, the Mississippi River rose to moderate flood levels, reaching 15.03 feet Wednesday. Moderate flooding is reached at 15 feet. But the NWS predicts the river will do down, dropping slowly but steadily to the lowest levels of minor flooding by June 7.

The river at Aitkin enters flood stage a 12 feet and reaches major flooding at 18 feet.