Yesterday, Mayor Coleman declared a "state of local emergency." The declaration clears the way for the City to start tracking flood-related expenses, in the hopes of getting some of them reimbursed. And there will be lots of expenses this year. There's a 50% chance of a record crest (beating the high water mark of 26.4' in 1965), and a 70% of a crest above 17'. Workers at the downtown airport began installing the flood wall yesterday, and residents of Lowertown and the Upper Landing are being asked to have a plan in case they're evacuated. The lower portion of Lilydale Regional Park, parts of Harriet Island, and the low-lying areas of Shepard/Warner Road will likely be submerged.

With several days of above-freezing temperatures and some rain in the forecast, the National Weather Service expects we could start to see flooding in downtown St. Paul by the weekend.

Visit the City of St. Paul flood preparation page, or check out the Science Buzz 2011 flood feature.

Oh, and here's our shot-a-day rivercam, and our hourly-image feed.

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