Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Things are getting back to normal in Delano
April 18, 2011

Crow River drops below flood stage

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

DELANO, MN – The roads are open, the temporary levees are down, and the river has continued to recede as things are getting back to normal in Delano now that the South Fork of the Crow River is steadily going down.

Friday morning, the river dropped to below flood stage of 16.5 feet and was at a level of 16.3 feet. A flood warning remained in effect for Wright County for rain and melting snow.

An update issued by the City of Delano Tuesday showed the river at a level of 17.3 feet, which shows a decrease since its second crest of 18.65 feet April 8. The river hit its first crest of 20.0 feet March 28. This compares to previous historical crests of 23.25 feet April 14, 1965, 20.45 feet April 12, 1969, and 20.30 feet March 21, 2010.

While the river waters continue to recede, the city is not out of the woods yet with respect to damages cause by the water.

The city’s sanitary sewer system has taken a “substantial hit” due to the flood, according to the city.

“It will likely take a substantial amount of time and expense to deal with the respective issues and get the system working according to design once again,” the update noted.

On the west side of the river, the city is hoping to be able to examine the damaged manhole and sanitary sewer main sometime this week.

The river needs to drop below 16 feet (currently projected for Monday, April 18) before the manhole can be safely reached and examined.

The sewer line will be televised, and, at that time, the city will have a more definitive understanding of the problem.

On the east side of the river, the city endured a significant sewer failure April 10.

Sometime in the morning or early afternoon, the sanitary sewer line serving Second Street North collapsed in Central Park, causing groundwater infiltration and sanitary sewer water to backup into a few homes along Second Street North (see related story).

The collapse occurred in the outfield of the main baseball field in a clay sanitary sewer line that has served the area for many decades.

The city is now bypassing sewer from Second Street North over land to the east near the intersection of Third Street and Park Avenue.

This bypass will remain until either a permanent line from Second to Third Street can be installed or the line in Central Park is repaired.

This brings the number of sanitary sewer bypasses in place in the city to three. All three will likely be in place for at least a few weeks.

The downtown bridge on Bridge Avenue was reopened last Monday and the bridge will remain opened unless river levels again begin to rise.

River Street South, between St. Peter Avenue and Second Street South, has also reopened.

Public works crews removed the temporary levee and restored the roadway for traffic.

Because of the ongoing sanitary sewer bypass, Bridge Avenue West at its intersection with Highway 12 will remain one-lane only for the foreseeable future.

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