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The city of Cottage Grove has temporarily closed the Grey Cloud Island Trail bridge to vehicle traffic ahead of predicted flooding. The city said the water pressure from the rising water presents safety issues on the bridge. (Bulletin photo by Emily Buss)

Predicted flooding moves Cottage Grove to declare emergency

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Following the lead of neighboring communities, the city of Cottage Grove has declared a state of emergency in preparation of what is predicted to be record Mississippi River flooding.

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The declaration allows the city to begin addressing flooding issues reported on Grey Cloud Island and the River Acres housing development, City Administrator Ryan Schroeder said Wednesday.

Earlier this week, a handful of homes on River Acres Road had several feet of standing water in their backyards. With the river expected to crest Thursday, the city of Cottage Grove — along with the city of St. Paul Park, which declared an emergency earlier this week — is on standby.

As a precaution the city also closed the Grey Cloud Island Trail bridge Tuesday. However, the Public Works Department said the bridge is not expected to flood.

The river levels near the bridge was 690.8 feet above sea level on Wednesday afternoon, with the concrete bridge surface sitting at 694.6 feet.

Schroeder said the city closed the bridge because the pressure underneath the bridge from the rising river water could present safety issues for crossing vehicles. About a dozen homeowners on Grey Cloud Island are affected by the bridge closure.

Just north of the bridge, Grey Cloud Island Road is still open because it sits higher in elevation. Detour signs are posted near the area.

The formal resolution declaring a state of emergency will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday following a special meeting at the Cottage Grove City Hall.

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Emily Buss
Emily Buss joined the South Washington County Bulletin in February 2013. She covers local government in Cottage Grove, St. Paul Park and Newport, along with other general assignment reporting. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
(651) 459-4629
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