MANKATO - The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Minnesota State Patrol closed State Highway 19 Sunday from U.S. Highway 169 to Henderson due to flooding.
Meanwhile, State Highway 93 will be used as an alternate route, while it remains above the flooding Minnesota River.
Other alternate routes are Highways 25, 5 and 19, according to a MnDOT news release.
Construction of the berm on South Front and South Valley streets along the Minnesota River in New Ulm progressed Monday.
Tony Berdan, project manager for M R Paving, said one day of work remains before the berm is completed. The final day of construction depends on the weather, and forecasted rain might delay the work. However, Berdan expects the berm to be done at least by Thursday.
One of two northbound lanes of U.S. Highway 169 between St. Peter and Le Sueur is restricted to one lane for berm-building operations.
The Treaty Site History Center, located on the north edge of St. Peter, put out a call for sandbaggers for Thursday.
The Union Pacific (UP) Railroad plans to take the railroad crossing signals out of service on Highway 99 near St. Peter and nearby flood-prone roads due to expected Minnesota River flooding. The UP will use flagging during train operations.
Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or jailed for 90 days when traveling on a closed road.
If travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, more expenses and penalties will apply, according to the news release.
Flooding is difficult to predict and roads may be closed or restricted without warning. Log and ice jams can further complicate flood forecasts.
Motorists are advised to check road conditions at www.511mn.org in advance of travel.
In New Ulm, police closed Cottonwood Street at 6 a.m. Monday from the Cottonwood River Bridge to Butternut Street due to flooding.
At 11 a.m. Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service measured the Cottonwood River level at New Ulm at 13.3 feet. Flood stage is 11 feet. Moderate flood stage is 13 feet. Major flood stage is 16 feet.
The NWS forecast the Cottonwood River at New Ulm to crest at 18.3 feet in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 24.
The NWS measured the Minnesota River at New Ulm at 796.46 feet at 11:15 a.m. Monday. Flood Stage is 796 feet. Moderate flood stage is 800 feet and major flood stage is 805 feet.
The NWS forecast the Minnesota River at New Ulm to crest at 803.1 feet at 11 p.m., Sunday, March 27.
Springfield City Manager Mac Tilberg said the Cottonwood River covered the city campground Monday.
"It popped up hard this morning," Tilberg said of the river.
He said the golf course road was closed Monday morning and the park road will likely close soon.
"We'll have to watch it like a hawk. We don't trust the river with all the dynamics affecting it. We're by no means out of the woods yet," he added.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).