Carleton College waiting for river to crest

Closed for now

Carleton College has closed Laird Stadium and West Gym, rerouted traffic and evacuated more than 30 students from student housing near the river as officials wait for the nearby Canon River to crest.

Reports say Northfield, which is under a state of emergency, has received 7-8 inches of rain, but Carleton media relations staffer Jessica Paxton said the real worry is the amount of rain that Owatonna, which lies upriver, has received. Northfielders fear that flooding there could make its way downriver to the city.

“We’re waiting for (the river) to crest in Faribault, and we’re thinking that’ll be very soon,” she said. “Then we’ll see when it crests in Northfield.”

That could be later today or tomorrow, she said.

Media relations director Eric Sieger said the track around the stadium is ruined, and will probably cost about $1 million to replace, though it’s insured. He said he believes flooding has damaged locker rooms in the stadium as well as equipment in the West Gym basement, but was not sure how much all that would cost to fix or replace.

Paxton said the following buildings would lose power for 4-6 hours while workers reroute electricity: Leighton Hall, Boliou Hall, library, Computing and Mathematics Center, Laird Hall, Goodsell Observatory and Olin Hall.

The students evacuated from the Canon River housing have temporary housing elsewhere at Carleton, Paxton said.

A volleyball match has been moved to St. Olaf and the homecoming game will probably have to be played at Northfield High School, but President Steven Poskanzer’s inauguration convocation and the following celebration are still on, Paxton said.

Here’s the rest of the story at Carleton’s Web site as well as updates from local station KYMN.

UPDATE: For more flood photos, see Carleton’s Facebook page.