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Snow Could Help White Bear Lake Levels, Temporarily

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – While this near record snow levels has communities across the stating bracing for possible record flooding, White Bear Lake is just hoping the water levels keep rising.

In the last year, the lake has been at record low levels — five feet below average. But what about the snow this winter? Won’t that help?

It’s harder to gauge with snow and ice but the lake is still at a record low. While the heavy snow this season will help, it’s not going to bring things back to normal.      

Brian McGoldrick, the owner of Admiral D’s restaurant and Marina, can only look at the cover of his menu to remember what White Bear Lake looked like when it was five feet higher in 2009.

For McGoldrick, the record low levels are devastating for his business.

“I think Fourth of July we launched two boats and typically we would have 150 that we would launch,” he said. “We have to sell 600 drinks to make up for one boat slip.”

Perry Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey says with the amount of snow the area has gotten this winter, the snow melt should boost water levels several feet but he says that might be only temporary.

Jones says one fact is that White Bear Lake has gotten less rain than other parts of the metro area and region.

Another factor is development in the area, specifically scientists believe strong development in Hugo, just seven miles north of the White Beat Lake, may be affecting lakes in a broader area.

“White Bear Lake is only one lake within Ramsey and Washington counties as well as Anoka County that’s having lower water levels at this period of time,” said Jones.

The U.S. Geological Survey is hoping to secure enough government funding to conduct a full study of what is happening to White Bear Lake to determine if it is lack of ground water due to development or if it simply less rain in that area that is causing this situation.

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