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Rising river levels -- but not floods -- forecast for river towns on Mississippi, St. Croix

River towns from Stillwater to Red Wing are expected to see water levels rise over the next few days, though forecasts are not showing flood stage being reached.

The St. Croix River in Stillwater was at 80 feet Thursday morning and was expected to crest at about 85 feet early Sunday, according to to the National Weather Service. Flood stage there is at 87 feet.

In Hastings, the Mississippi River was at 8.63 feet Thursday morning. The NWS forecast the river to crest there early Sunday at 14.3 feet – just below the 15-foot flood stage.

The Mississippi at Red Wing was also forecast to stay below the 14-foot flood stage when the river crests Monday at an expected 12.3 feet. The river stood at 5.3 feet Thursday morning, according to the NWS.

The weather service issued a flood warning Wednesday night for Burnett (Wis.) County, as the St. Croix River was reported to be over its banks and was expected to crest late Wednesday at both Danbury and Grantsburg.

Storms on Tuesday inundated northwestern Wisconsin and north-central Minnesota with heavy rain and severe weather.

Wisconsin flood advisories were out for the Bad River in northern Ashland County and the Nemadji River near Superior in Douglas County. Both have already crested. In Hayward, Wisconsin Emergency Management says sandbagging continues as Silver Creek kept rising Wednesday, downtown Hayward was flooded, and 10 homes were threatened.

Numerous roads were closed Wednesday, including highways 2 and 13 in the Ashland area -- and damage assessments are being made in all eight counties where Gov. Scott Walker has imposed a state of emergency.

In Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton visited Litchfield Wednesday to meet with community members and a tour of the town to assess storm damage there.

The governor met with community leaders and members at the Litchfield Fire Department.

He was scheduled to visit Watkins, Minn.. later in the day. Watkins was also affected by the storms earlier this week.

(Forum News Service and Wheeler News Service contributed to this report)

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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