The St. Croix River has reached its crest after weeks of rising waters, and begun slowly dropping back down.
The river at Stillwater hit 686′ above sea level — a foot short of ‘minor’ flood stage. The National Weather Service had predicted a 50 percent chance of cresting at this stage, and about a 35 percent chance of hitting 687′.
Water levels began to drop after the initial spring melt, about March 20. But then rain about a week later sent it climbing again. Now it appears to be coming down from that peak.
Afton mayor Bill Palmquist celebrated the news cautiously.
“A bit of good news for a change,” he wrote on Facebook. “The river forecast has been lowering over the last week and for now at least, the levels are going down. When the river is at levels in the 680s rain can make it rise very quickly, so we will continue to monitor, but for now it looks good.”
The river will still be “in the 680s” for the next week or two. The short-term weather forecast is promising. There is a chance of precipitation from Saturday night through Tuesday, but no indications it will be significant.