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Isolated Flooding from Tree Stuck in Pipe Closes East River Road

A creek backed up, putting water onto the roadway.

East River Road was closed to traffic at 77th Way Tuesday due to isolated flooding caused by a logjam in the pipe carrying creekwater under the road.

Traffic in both directions was detoured () around a two-block stretch of East River Road at rush hour Tuesday evening, although crews had cleared the jam and water was no longer on the roadway.

The cause was a tree that got stuck in a four-foot diameter pipe that carries water under East River Road, said Fridley Public Works crew member Craig Hanson. The water drains from the city's North Industrial Area, he said.

When crews managed to remove the tree in mid-afternoon, a rush of water blew a hole in the ground just to the west of the road.  The blow-out is next to a drain that directs the creekwater underground to the Mississippi River.

The unusual incident—crews regularly clear debris there but rarely whole trees, Hanson said —comes as for that forecasts indicate could rival high waters seen in 1997 or even the record-flood year of 1965.

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