St. Paul makes emergency flood declaration

6:16 PM, Mar 14, 2011   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Crews were starting to build a floodwall at St. Paul Downtown Airport Monday, the same day the city made its official emergency declaration for flooding.

City officials insist the declaration is simply a formality, and urge residents not to panic, just be prepared.

"After record snowfall this winter, it is predicted that Saint Paul could see high floods waters this spring," said St. Paul spokesman Richard Carlbom in a prepared release. "This declaration is the first step in ensuring our residents and infrastructure remains safe."

Airport officials are among those expecting serious spring flooding of the Mississippi River at St. Paul.

In a news release Monday, Metropolitan Airports Commission Executive Director Jeff Hamiel said before they developed the floodwall in 2009, flooding sometimes could cause thousands of dollars in damage and close the airport for weeks at a time.

He says it's designed to protect the airport against a hundred-year flood.

The wall will remain in place until the flooding danger has passed.

This is the fourth time the floodwall has been built there. It was erected once in 2009 and twice in 2010.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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