The Mississippi River is again covering parts of Highway 60 in Wabasha, forcing the Minnesota Department of Transportation to close a portion of the roadway.
This stretch of Highway 60, which goes under a railroad bridge, is just north of Highway 61 at Wabasha. It is under water and MnDOT has blocked the road with barricades. The area is a backwater from the Mississippi River, which is rising again.
The river was at 14.26 feet as of 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20, which the National Weather Service lists as moderate flooding. Flood stage is 12 feet. The river is expected to crest at 15.1 feet sometime Monday, April 22. Major flooding occurs at 16 feet.
MnDOT had only reopened Highway 60 a week ago.
MnDOT cautions motorists to be alert for the potential of roadway flooding as rain continues in the region and heavy snowpack melts. Other highways could be closed at times if water poses a safety hazard to motorists.
• Do not drive around barricades or into flooded areas.
• Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles.
• Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups.
• When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.
• If travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will also apply.
To find more information from MnDOT about flooding, go to its website at " target="_blank">www.dot.state.mn.us/flood/.