NEW ULM - Following Tuesday night's rainfall, forecasted river crests for the Minnesota and Cottonwood rivers at New Ulm continued to climb Wednesday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) measured the Minnesota River at New Ulm at 800.33 feet at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday. That's just beyond the moderate flood stage level of 800 feet.
The NWS forecast the Minnesota to crest at 804.5 feet Tuesday, March 29.
Major flood stage is 805 feet.
The Minnesota River reached 804.86 feet on March 27, 2010 - its fifth highest crest at New Ulm.
New Ulm City Manager Brian Gramentz said Tuesday's rain halted Minnesota River berm construction.
"We started working on it again today (Wednesday). We're shooting for a Thursday finish," Gramentz said.
The Cottonwood River at New Ulm was measured at 16.74 feet at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
"The Cottonwood seems to be leveling off right now. But it did that two days ago too, then jumped up," Gramentz said.
The NWS forecast the Cottonwood at New Ulm to crest at 17.7 feet early this morning. Major flood stage is 16 feet.
The Cottonwood reached 18.95 feet in New Ulm on Sept. 26, 2010 - its third highest historical crest.
The Cottonwood's historical crest at New Ulm was 20.86 feet on April 8, 1965.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) closed State Highway 22 from Mankato to St. Peter early Wednesday morning due to flooding tha caused a collapse in the roadway.
Motorists can use U.S. Highway 169 as an alternate route. Local traffic can follow a detour on Le Sueur County Roads 21, 18 and 102.
Other closed highways include Highway 19 from Highway 169 to Henderson, Highway 93 from Highway 169 to Henderson (alternate route Highways 25, 5, 19), Highway 93 from Highway 169 to Le Sueur (alternate route Highway 112), Highway 22.
The outside northbound lane of Highway 169 from St. Peter to Le Sueur is closed due to a temporary sand dike.
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at email@example.com).