St. Paul braces for flooding and other people's waste

Toilet plungers may be needed in St. Paul.

Toilet plungers may be needed in St. Paul.

It's bad enough to learn that dozens of Minnesota communities flushed their human waste into flooding rivers last week. Now we find out some of that crap is going to flow downhill into St. Paul, along with expected rising waters.

The National Weather Service predicts the Mississippi River will rise above its 14-feet flood stage on Wednesday, and crest perhaps as high as 18.5 feet by the weekend.


That means that parts of Lilydale Park, Harriet Island and maybe even Warner Road will be covered in water. Water Street, Lilydale Road and parts of Shepard Road are already closed, and Mayor Chris Coleman has declared a local state of emergency to ease the way for potential state and federal aid money if things get out of hand.

There's more official details on road closures here.

With any luck, emergency workers won't have to be outfitted with toilet plungers. Earlier this week, communities to the south opted to let their sewer systems bypass treatment facilities and flow right into rivers in an effort to prevent their residents' toilets from backing up during the floods.

Some of those rivers flow into the Minnesota River, which joins the Mississippi above St. Paul: