As the Minnesota River continues to rise, the Scott County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens about the dangers the flooding river could impose.
After excessive rainfall in the southern portion of Minnesota, the Minnesota River has been steadily rising for the past few weeks and is now in flood stage. Currently, there are three bridges in Scott County that have closed as a result of this flood: County Road 1 in Blakeley Township; County Road 9 outside of Jordan; and MN Hwy 41 between Chaska and Shakopee. The closure of these roadways should lead to increased traffic levels on U.S. Hwy 169, County Road 101, and MN Hwy 25 in Belle Plaine.
According to the National Weather Service, the amount of fatalities from floods in the United States has been rising for the past 30 years.
“We can’t stress enough how dangerous flooding can be,” said Scott County Sheriff Luke Hennen. “With all the hurricanes we had last year in the United States, I think people would be stunned to learn that floods were the weather-related event that caused the most deaths in the United States in 2017.”
Sheriff Hennen and Scott County Emergency Management and Communications Director, Captain Scott Haas, urge citizens to take the flood seriously. Do not cross closed road barriers, do not swim in the flooded areas, and do not kayak, canoe, or boat in areas outside of the Minnesota River’s normal river banks. If you are driving and encounter a road that is covered in water, turn around, don’t drown.
“The majority of fatalities in a flood occur while people are in their vehicles,” said Scott County Sheriff’s Office Captain Scott Haas.
The Minnesota River is expected to crest in Henderson on June 28th, and in Jordan on June 30th, but these dates may be pushed back if any portion of the Minnesota River basin receives additional rainfall. Roads and bridges that are closed must be assessed for damages once the water levels have receded to ensure the roads are still safe for driving.