MnDOT closes E. Main St.

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2011

East Main Street is closed with barriers at Katherine Street near McDonald's, though customers pulling out of McDonald's can drive no farther than Clark Street at Godfather's because of the large puddle. Snowflakes that fell Wedneday morning can be seen on a barrier. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Albert Lea Public Works Department, closed both lanes of East Main Street in Albert Lea on Wednesday afternoon due to flooding.
The flooding is near Godfather’s Pizza and Hanson Tire Service.

A car brakes Wednesday morning as it enters a puddle on eastbound Main Street, while the westbound lanes remain closed. This is the view looking eastward. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

East Main Street was closed at Katherine Street on Wednesday morning. By the afternoon, MnDOT announced its intentions to close the street at Garfield Avenue. MnDOT is involved in the street closing because the roadway is also U.S. Highway 65.

Traffic is being detoured to Newton Avenue, Front Street, Garfield Avenue then back to Highway 65. Detour signs are in place.

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Motorists should plan accordingly. When a road is closed it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, other expenses and penalties will apply.

Cars splash through a puddle on the eastbound lane of East Main Street on Wednesday morning in Albert Lea, while a puddle in the closed westbound lane prevents passage. This is the view looking westward. -- Tim Engstrom/Albert Lea Tribune

Rain from the storm fell on ground that was already saturated from melting snow, producing overland flooding in Albert Lea this week. By this morning, many areas of high water had receded, and cold temperatures left the ground hard and walkways slippery.

Still, much of southern Minnesota, including the Albert Lea area, remains in a flood warning until 3:30 p.m. Friday.

The forecast for Friday calls for a slight chance of snow, with a high of 32. Temperatures are expected to remain chilly until Wednesday of next week, when they could climb back into the 40s. Fortunately, no rain is in the five-day forecast.

See the Tribune’s story on the Tuesday storm.

About Tim Engstrom

Tim Engstrom is the editor of the Albert Lea Tribune. He resides in Albert Lea with his wife, two sons and dog.

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