UPDATED: National Park Service Urges St. Croix River Users to Stay Off of the Water
The National Park Service says boating, canoeing or kayaking on the St. Croix River is not recommended because the current is fast and the water is carrying debris. At 12:15 a.m. Friday, the river was up to 685.8 feet in Stillwater.
The rising water of the St. Croix River has the National Park Service urging people to stay off of the riverway.
At 686 feet, MnDOT may close the Stillwater Lift Bridge due to safety issues.
Right now there are no plans to close the bridge, but that could change in the next day or two depending on the water levels, MnDOT spokesperson Todd Kramascz said Thursday morning. If MnDOT closes the bridge due to high water, the department will give commuters at least one day's notice.
Campsites may be flooded, inaccessible or difficult to access, an alert from the National Park Service reads. High water levels may create little clearance between the river and the underside of bridges.
"The river current is fast and the water is carrying debris," the alert reads. "We do not recommend boating, canoeing, or kayaking on the St. Croix River at this time.”
For boaters who choose to use the river, the high water levels mean there is a no-wake restriction in effect on the St. Croix.
“Due to the rising water we are strongly discouraging river use at this time,” a post on the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Facebook page reads. “Several landings have been closed along the St. Croix River.”
Those closures include: Osceola Landing and Picnic area, Stevens Creek, Raspberry Landing and boat landings at Sunrise River, Interstate Park, William O' Brien State Park and the main boat landing at Wild River State Park.
Marine Landing closed Tuesday due to flooding. Click here to see a photo gallery of the flooding at the Landing.
At all other landings along the St. Croix, users can expect high water, flooding and limited parking, according to the National Park Service.
The city of Stillwater is also taking some precautionary measures.
Parking lot No. 2 (east of the Freight House) is closed. Additional parking lots may close later this week, depending on water levels.
The city has also installed fencing on the west side of Lowell Park from Nelson to Mulberry Street to keep people out of the park.
Stillwater Police Chief John Gannaway told the Pioneer Press that police will be patrolling the area and issuing citations to flood-gazers who don’t stay behind the barricades.
The river walk at Lowell Park is inundated with water when the river rises above 678 feet. This year, the St. Croix has flooded a newly seeded area of Lowell Park, which means city crews may have to reseed the area after the water recedes.
Flood stage is 687 feet.