Updated: 07/06/2013 9:45 AM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson
Work to clear a massive log jam on the Mississippi River got under way Friday. The jam has been building for the past week near the Wabasha Street Bridge and Raspberry Island in St. Paul.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says last week's storm is one of the main causes of the jam because the winds knocked down trees near the river, sending them into the water. The DNR also says dead trees aren't removed from the bluffs near the Mississippi often because of the bluffs' height and steepness.
Another reason for the log jam is the high water levels, according to the DNR.
A crew hired by the City of St. Paul began working Friday morning, using a barge with an excavator on it to scoop the debris out of the river.
“In the interest of public safety and really to mitigate any future potential public safety concerns, should this break loose all at once, we'd rather take that out of there now to protect the public safety, the bridges, and the property downstream,” St. Paul Emergency Management Director Rick Larkin said.
The entire cost of the removal is estimated to be between $15-$25,000.