FLOODING IMPACTS: St. Paul weddings, Taste of Minnesota move - KMSP-TV

FLOODING IMPACTS: St. Paul weddings, Taste of Minnesota must move

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Near Shepard Road and Eagle Parkway in St. Paul, it's not hard to spot a closed road or the swollen Mississippi River flowing into the park -- but that means some popular destinations are underwater and plans must change.

"It happened really suddenly," Tanya Tennessen, communications director for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, told Fox 9 News. "We were looking at crests that were more in the 14-15 foot level, and within a matter of about 4 hours, that jumped to major flood stage here in St. Paul."

The floodwaters put Harriet Island and Raspberry Island underwater, which means those who planned to have private events in the picturesque area are now looking for alternate plans. Couples like the Rusnackos and others apparently needed to move their weddings to the Lowertown Event Center at the last minute.

"I have had sobbing brides in my arms, and there's nothing better than to see them dancing and rejoicing at the end of the night," Charice Bakke, director of the Lowertown Event Center, said.

Excessive rainfall and the kind of compassion Bakke exudes has led four brides in the last 5 days to move their weddings, but Bakke says it isn't just those who planned ceremonies on Harriet Island who are looking for higher ground.

"It's anyone who had their wedding planned on a vessel on the Mississippi River," she said.

Unfortunately for those who spent months of planning, the high waters aren't expected to recede any time soon.

"I just booked a Friday that I happened to have available the third week of July, so they don't see an end in sight," Bakke explained. "I'm so sorry, and if I can accommodate anybody, obviously, I'll do whatever I can."

Yet, Tennessen says the floodwaters are primarily causing traffic issues, and she urges city residents and commuters to check stpaul.gov.

"We are doing regular updates to that site for park closures and street closures," she said. "Maybe, before they leave for work in the morning, have a look at that so they can plan appropriately."

A link to the detailed list of parks and road closures can be found on the front page, but the city has seen its own flooding nuisances too. In fact, the St. Paul Police Department is in the process of closing the impound lot and moving 500 cars. Officials expect to have finalized information about where those vehicles will be located by Wednesday morning.

The Taste of Minnesota is another event that will be moved due to the Harriet Island flooding. A spokesperson for the annual culinary celebration said organizers will decide on an alternate site by the end of day on Wednesday.

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