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Minnesota underwater: Notes from the flood zones

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The good news from the war on flooding in Minnesota: Rivers have crested and begun to recede in several towns, including Burnsville and Mankato, the National Weather Service reports.

The bad: Many communities are still inundated and tallying up the damage.

In St. Paul, the Mississippi River was at 19.79 feet as of noon Wednesday and still rising, with an expected crest Thursday of 20.5 feet, 3.5 feet above major flood stage.

Gov. Mark Dayton, who has been touring flooded areas around the state and plans a stop Wednesday in Warroad in far northwestern Minnesota, has not ruled out a special session of the Legislature to release state funding for flood recovery.

Dayton said he would not be surprised if a $3 million state emergency fund was quickly spent, and then lawmakers would have to authorize more money, the Star Tribune reports.

Dayton also planned to make a personal appeal for federal aid to President Barack Obama during a Thursday visit.

“This is severe flooding, and in many different locations in the state, which I haven’t seen before,” Dayton told the New York Times, which featured a story on Minnesota flooding. “I’ve seen severe weather — tornadoes, flash floods and ice storms — but usually they impact one area of the state. This one is the whole state.”

Dispatches from Minnesota flood zones:

Minnehaha Creek/Lake Minnetonka

In an update Wednesday, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District reports that Lake Minnetonka has dropped an inch since the all-time record set Monday (but the lake is still about 6 inches higher than the pre-2014 all-time high set in 2002). It could be until August before the lake sinks back to normal levels, the district reports.

Among the complications from area flooding: a new round of sewer backups in Mound.


The Crow River crested late Monday night, WCCO reports, at the second-highest level in town history, but still 2 feet shy of a 1965 record. Still, the town west of the metro ripped through 10 percent of its annual budget in just a few days, spending money on labor and supplies to keep the water from flooding streets and businesses.

The Three Crows Cafe and Coffee shop in Delano announced this week it is moving across the street after years of flooding woes:

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Residents are preparing for water to spill into town from Lake of the Woods. Forecasters say up to 5 inches of more rain could fall on lakefront next week, Roseau County Commissioner Glenda Phillipe told MPR News.

Blakeley Township/Henderson

An MPR News feature highlights the work of two freelance photographers who tell the stories behind how they got some of the striking images of flooding in two towns: Blakeley Township and Henderson, Minnesota, roughly 50 miles southwest of Minneapolis.


The aerial photography company Fresh Sights captured a shot of flooding at Valley Fair amusement park:

A stunning bit of aerial video from Kinsman Photography LLC shows more flooding in Shakopee, along Highway 101.

This an eye-popping line graph (click for the big version) shows it has been the wettest year ever in the Twin Cities (through yesterday's date):

A few more images from around the metro today ...

St. Paul:

Eden Prairie:

Cottage Grove:

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