West St. Paul council will hold a special meeting later today to decide if it will turn 80 hectares of land into an emergency holding tank for flood waters from Grassmere Creek, Mayor Cliff Dearman said this morning.
It will be a different property than the municipality used for emergency storage in the 1997 flood, said Dearman, who would not identify the location before council has heard from its engineering consultants and decided whether to go ahead.
"No local homes would be endangered. I’m not going to create another problem," he said.
Dearman said the property would be used as a holding area if there is a sudden rush of water from the west — from Woodlands, Rosser, and Rockwood, flowing into Grassmere Creek.
"If the creek backs up, if we get another jam, we get all the water from Woodlands and Rosser rushing down," he said. Dearman said cold weather has slowed the melt from the west, but as the thaw begins, "If water from the west comes, and we get backup, there’s nowhere for Grassmere to go but over the banks."
Dearman emphasized that the 80 hectares do not contain any homes, nor are there any homes nearby that would be endangered by a holding area.
"Council is looking at every single scenario that could happen. That’s why we got 300 (plastic Tiger Dam) tubes."