Austin residents prepare for floods - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Austin residents prepare for floods

AUSTIN/ALBERT LEA, Minn. (KTTC) -- Anxious eyes are watching river levels across the state. In Austin, they're watching the Turtle Creek and the Cedar River after a few wet days, followed by Wednesday's snow.

Flooding is nothing new for Austin residents, but authorities say it's not typical for water levels to be this high so early in the Spring.

Austin Police Chief, Brian Krueger, says the Cedar River is in a flood warning.

Levels are over 14 feet and the National Weather Service is expecting it to rise to nearly 15 feet before cresting.

The Turtle Creek is also under a flood warning with levels at nearly 7 feet.

Residents are taking precautions. The NewsCenter spoke with one man Wednesday, who is moving his valuables from a storage shed on the south side of town to higher ground.

"It's one thing to get a spring thaw from a lot of snow, or maybe some rain or maybe just watch the rivers come up. This is definitely the earliest it's been knocking on the back door like this," said Danny Muzik.

It's not just flood waters that are rising on the south side of town, but also on the north.

Sandbagging efforts took place to protect Jerry's Other Place, a restaurant next to the Cedar River. Owner Scott Johnson said he is optimistic his business won't flood.

In Albert Lea, westbound Highway 65 at Clark Street was closed Wednesday due to flooding.

The busy road runs throughout the entire city.

Barricades were up, but some people were still driving through the water. 

Officials say the road typically floods like this 2 to 3 times a year.

A detour is in place and the road will remain closed until further notice.


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