Warm weather not good news for those watching Hastings flood levels
Warm weather conditions this week aren't a guarantee of high water levels this spring, but they're not easing fears of bad flooding either.
"It's not an ideal condition," said Hastings Public Works Director Tom Montgomery.
The reason it's not ideal is that snow and ice has been melting continuously, rather than intermittently.
"Ideally we'd have freezing overnight, or we'd have a period of freezing to slow things down," he said.
How the warm-up will affect flood levels will depend on what sort of weather comes next.
The National Weather Service has not updated its flood forecast since it predicted a 50 percent chance the river would crest at 24.5 feet, which would be the second-highest flood on record for Hastings. All NWS predictions at this point suggest the river will rise above the major flooding stage, which is 18 feet.
The city will be meeting early next week to organize volunteer efforts for flood preparations. Those interested in volunteering should contact Montgomery at 651-480-6188 or City Administrator Dave Osberg at 651-480-2383.
Volunteers are already being requested to help protect riverfront property.
The Hastings American Legion, Post 47, is looking for volunteers to sandbag along the Legion's Wall of Fame. This commemorative wall faces the Mississippi river and will be exposed to the near-record flood predicted this spring. Equipment and supplies are being provided by the City of Hastings, but, as has been the custom in the past, the city cannot do the actual work to protect the wall because it is private property. Anyone or any group who would like to volunteer should call Joe Balsanek at 651-438-5998 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers may also stop by the Legion and leave their names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses.