Weather: A wintry mix into Friday could worsen flooding
The precipitation will change from rain to mostly snow Thursday afternoon into Thursday night and continue into Friday.
BRAINERD — A wintry mix of precipitation — rain, sleet and snow — is expected to impact the Brainerd lakes area through Friday, April 21, bringing concern of increased flooding.
The National Weather Service in Duluth reported rain was likely Thursday morning, followed by a mix of rain, snow and sleet late morning into early afternoon before switching back to rain later in the afternoon. A few thunderstorms may occur as well, the weather service reported.
The precipitation will change to mostly snow from west to east across Thursday afternoon into Thursday night and continue into Friday. Light snow and ice accumulations are possible in spots and could create slick spots on area roads.
The storm could drop up to 10 inches of snow in northern Minnesota and 1-8 inches in Wadena, and northern parts of Cass and Aitkin counties.
Because of the continued snowmelt and new precipitation, the weather service issued a flood advisory through Saturday for all of Aitkin, Cass and Crow Wing counties with minor flooding in low-lying and poor drainage areas and water on roadways reported.
“High water conditions persist and any additional precipitation could quickly result in a return to flood conditions,” the weather service reported.
The Mississippi River at Aitkin and Fort Ripley remain in flood warnings until further notice.
At Aitkin, the flood stage of the Mississippi River is 15 feet. On Tuesday morning, the river was at 16 feet and was expected to crest at 16.7 feet Saturday morning. The weather service reported when the river reaches 15 feet, a few homes become surrounded by water in the Cedarbrook neighborhood near Eagle Road and the Aitkin city park becomes flooded. At 17 feet, the weather service reported pumping begins at the wastewater treatment plant and sandbagging begins at the Aitkin city transformer and water tops the levees on the north side of the city.
At Fort Ripley, the flood stage of the Mississippi River is 10.5 feet. At 11 feet, minor flooding is typical in rural areas of Fort Ripley. As of Tuesday morning, the river was at 12.1 feet with an expected crest of 12.2 feet Wednesday afternoon. At 12 feet, the weather service noted the boat landing and parking lot at the public access are under water.
High temperatures are expected to stay in the low 40s through the weekend, with highs in the upper 40s and low 50s for the start of next week.