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Minnesota River crests in Montevideo

Waters following a glacial overflow channel outside of Granite Falls have temporarily made an island of the Rock supper club on the outskirts of Granite Falls. Tom Cherveny / Forum News Service

MONTEVIDEO, Minn. — Montevideo and Granite Falls are staying ahead of the fast-rising Minnesota River as it reaches its crest.

Waters on the Minnesota River were expected to crest at 21.3 feet at the end of the day Friday, March 29, in Montevideo, below the 23.9 foot record crest of 1969.

“We’re in good shape,’’ said Mayor Jim Curtiss on Friday afternoon with river levels just under the crest.

The city’s volunteer firefighters and public works employees stacked sandbags on the city’s 1969 levee on both Thursday and Friday and stayed well ahead of the waters. The levee was raised 2 feet with clay on Thursday.

Granite Falls is expecting the river to crest on Saturday at 893.21 feet, below the historic crest of 899.84 in 1997.

“I think we’re in good shape,’’ said Mayor Dave Smiglewski. “Hope isn’t a good strategy, but I hope that we’ll stay under the 2011 (flood) level,” he added. The river reached 893.55 in 2011.

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