Wild Rice River spills over road near Ulen, MN

Published: Apr. 14, 2023 at 3:48 PM CDT
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CLAY COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - The water of the Wild Rice River is rushing over a road in Clay County, Minnesota. The water is breaking out of the riverbanks and pushing its way over the gravel road.

A Valley News Live viewer says this is the south branch of the Wild Rice near Ulen. We are checking with county officials to get information on exactly which road is being affected.

MnDOT says melting snow, spring rain, and plugged culverts and catch basins are causing water to back up onto highways. Officials are urging drivers to stay alert because water can rise quickly and suddenly.

“We are seeing water levels rising quickly and suddenly. In some areas, the water levels recede quickly too, but there are some locations with water on the road for more than 800 feet. MnDOT is monitoring all of these areas closely,” said District 4 operations manager Justin Knopf.

Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars, causing loss of control and possible stalling. A foot of water will float many vehicles. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles and pick-ups. Driving through standing or moving water is dangerous.

“Flooding is very difficult to predict. The most important thing for motorists to remember is that conditions can change very quickly. Whenever you see water over the road, slow down and drive with extreme caution,” said Knopf.

Areas that have water on the road or are closed because of flooding are marked on MnDOT’s road conditions map 511mn.org.