St. Paul awaits ‘major flood stage’ river crest of about 20 feet Friday; Stillwater prepares for Sunday crest

In downtown St. Paul, the Mississippi River was measuring 15 feet on Monday morning and is expected to crest around 20 feet on or about Friday — well into “major flood stage” — submerging low-lying areas in Harriet Island Regional Park and other parts of the city. The river last crested at 20 feet in March 2019.

“Models have moved down a tad since last week due to less rain than expected over the weekend, but … the hydrograph is still showing a crest at 20 feet on or around Friday,” said Clare Cloyd, a spokesperson for St. Paul Parks and Recreation.

In anticipation of river flooding, St. Paul officials closed a 3-mile stretch of Shepard/Warner Road on Sunday evening and have taken other precautionary measures at parks, trails and low-lying areas. Some one-way street segments downtown that normally connect to Shepard Road have been closed to through-traffic and converted to two-way traffic for local access to buildings. Temporarily closing Shepard Road/Warner Road is part of the city’s official flood response plan when rising river levels near the “moderate flood stage” of 15 feet. Major flood stage is reached at 17 feet.

In addition to street closings announced last week, Fourth Street between Willius Street and Commercial Street is now closed, and Childs Road will close at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

“We don’t anticipate any impact to the new construction areas along Harriet Island, but are monitoring and our (Department of Safety and Inspections) staff has made rounds of in-person contact, and frequent written communication updates to property owners along the floodplain on both sides of the river,” Cloyd said.

The St. Croix River at Stillwater

Meanwhile, the St. Croix River was at 685.1 feet in Stillwater on Monday afternoon; minor flood stage is 687 feet. The river is set to crest in Stillwater at 9 a.m. Sunday at 687.8 feet, which is just under moderate flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.

Mayor Ted Kozlowski said he and other city officials are “keeping their eyes on the sky at this point.”

“We could get more rain tonight,” he said. “It could be nothing. There’s just so much uncertainty. Any precipitation at this point is just going to extend the flood situation.”

No volunteers are needed to help prepare sandbags to reduce floodwater damage, he said, “but we’re only a 3-inch rain event from potentially needing some.”

For updated information on the Mississippi River at St. Paul go to For information on the St. Croix River at Stillwater go to

Top recorded river crests for Mississippi River at St. Paul

If and when the Mississippi River surpasses 19.02 feet at downtown St. Paul, it will be a top 10 historic recorded crest for the city. The No. 1 spot was achieved on April 16, 1965 when the river crested at 26.01 feet. For more information go to

Here’s how the 20-foot forecasted crest compares to past historic levels recorded in St. Paul:

• 26.01 feet on 04/16/1965.

• 24.52 feet on 04/15/1969.

• 23.76 feet on 04/18/2001.

• 23.20 feet on 04/30/2001.

• 22.37 feet on 04/13/1997.

• 22.02 feet on 04/16/1952.

• 20.19 feet on 03/31/2019.

• 20.13 feet on 06/26/2014.

• 19.15 feet on 06/26/1993.

• 19.02 feet on 03/29/2011.

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