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Major flooding of the Mississippi feared

Saturated bluff slides onto West River Parkway; Minnehaha Creek reaches an all-time high; Marty Sabo throws water on Southwest LRT; Scott Walker’s troubles go national; and more.

And now it’ll be the Mississippi we’ll have to worry about. In their rain/flood coverage, Paul Walsh, Kelly Smith and Jennifer Brooks add, “By the weekend, the runoff will have worked its way into area rivers. The National Weather Service warned that major flooding could be ahead on the Mississippi in St. Paul, the Crow River in Delano, Rockford and Mayer, and in parts of the Minnesota River Valley. Rain has been falling throughout June, but Thursday’s rainfall ‘broke the camel’s back, so to speak’, said Craig Schmidt, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.”

In the PiPress Andy Rathbun and Joe Lindberg say, “A record-setting deluge of rain Thursday promises to add to already swollen waters in the days to come, potentially pushing the Mississippi River up to a level not seen in years. … the Mississippi in St. Paul is expected to continue to rise into the week, possibly cresting at 20 feet next Thursday morning. That could be high enough for the seventh-highest crest on record and the highest level recorded outside of April.” Do you know how much California would pay for all this water?

Already … . Tad Vezner of the PiPress says, “A 100-yard-wide section of rain-soaked Mississippi River bluff slid onto West River Parkway in Minneapolis on Thursday evening. The 7:13 p.m. landslide affected the bluff just below the University of Minnesota Medical Center in the Cedar-Riverside area. No one was injured, but employees in one hospital building were evacuated and West River Parkway was closed by the debris.”

On his blog, Paul Douglas writes, “20 years ago climate models predicted wet areas would get wetter — dry areas would get drier. Call me crazy but that’s pretty much what we’re seeing on our maps. Dr. Mark Seeley confirms 4 of the last 5 Junes have seen historically wet conditions over southern Minnesota. The Minnesota Climate Office lists four separate 1-in-1000 year flood events since 2004; 3 of them in southern Minnesota.”

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From Paul Huttner at MPR: “Minnehaha Creek reached an all time new record high level after rising over 1.5 feet in Thursday’s record rainfall. … We have never lived through a year like this, so far, in Minnesota history. The 25 inches and counting through June 20th blows the previous record year of 2001 out of the water by over 4 inches.”

Former Congressman Marty Sabo is a “no” voice on the Southwest LRT. Curtis Gilbert of MPR says, “Retired U.S. Rep. Martin Sabo wants Minneapolis to reject the proposed Southwest light rail line, warning it will do little to help the city. A Democrat who represented Minneapolis in Congress for almost three decades, Sabo said he decided to speak out about the project and its $1.7 billion cost after hearing some of the recent arguments made by proponents of the line, including how it would help people on Minneapolis’ North Side. … ‘I thought [that] was just despicable and, frankly, so blatantly untrue it was laughable,’ Sabo told reporters Thursday.”

The GleanMeanwhile, in DC … . Brett Neely of MPR says Minnesota’s GOP representatives are happy the fight over new leadership has ended. “[Michele] Bachmann called [new Whip Steve] Scalise a fresh face and a fresh voice’ for House GOP leadership and said that the party was now unified again ahead of midterm elections in November. … ‘This election does open all the member’s eyes that maybe the results won’t be inevitable after the next election,’ said Bachmann.” … which as usual leaves me wondering, “What is she trying to say?”

Also … Scott Walker’s latest problem has gone national. Monica Davey and Nicholas Confessore of the New York Times report on the Wisconsin Governor’s involvement in “a vast fund-raising case.”  “The [documents] provided a rare view of the inner workings of a far-flung network of conservative nonprofit groups that have come to play a decisive role in national and state elections, secretly moving hundreds of millions of dollars into campaigns by avoiding traditional political action committees, which typically face tougher disclosure requirements.”

At the Huffington Post, Paul Blumenthal writes, “Prosecutors also contend that the Walker campaign and the independent groups ‘tacitly’ admitted to the allegations by arguing that the coordination was not illegal because the groups were engaged in issue advocacy, not electoral activity. The documents portray the Wisconsin Club for Growth as the coordinated campaign’s hub of operations, spending money on ads and acting as a ‘dark money’ bank to dole out undisclosed funds to other groups to do the bidding of the Walker camp. Formerly a small player in Wisconsin, the group pulled in more than $20 million from 2011 through 2012.” Yeah … not so small anymore.

Go ahead, see what $650 a month gets you … . Matt Sepic at MPR reports, “Chip Halbach, executive director of the Minnesota Housing Partnership, says apartment construction in the Twin Cities rose 70 percent in the last year. … ‘The apartments around that rent for $650 a month or less, which is the really affordable stock, declined this last decade by one half’, he said. ‘So you’ve lost some 70,000 apartments during that decade that were most affordable.’”

Speaking of … . Jim Buchta of the Strib reports on development plans for the Thresher Square Building and a block on Washington Avenue. “Sherman Associates is finalizing long-awaited plans to build 175 apartments, 30,000 square feet of retail and two levels of underground parking on a block that fronts Washington Avenue between Chicago and Park Avenues. A skyway with an entrance near the corner of Washington and Chicago avenues would provide access to miles of downtown skyways, including those that will link the new Vikings stadium to the rest of the city’s climate-controlled network.”