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Water Levels: Highest In 25 Years In 4 Minn. Counties

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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ANNANDALE, Minn. (WCCO) – It’s more work than rest at many central Minnesota lake homes and cabins, because unusually high water levels are submerging docks that were left out over winter.

Dave Redburn has been adjusting his father’s dock constantly in an effort to go fishing with his daughter.

“It’s a constant … bring it in, put it out, bring it in, pull it out,” Redburn said. “So it’s a never ending story.”

Many lakes in Stearns, Wright, Sherburne and Benton counties are experiencing their highest water levels in more than 25 years.

Heavy winter snow created above average spring snowmelt, and when spring finally arrived it brought heavier than normal rainfall and much cooler temperatures.

That meant that the normal evaporation of water out of lakes and ponds didn’t occur with the usual level of drying.

Furthermore, all that extra water had nowhere to go, the groundwater tables were already high and the soil was saturated.

“I’ve lost up to 15 feet of shoreline,” said Larry Alberg, who lives on Pleasant Lake in Annandale where the water level is still about 18 inches above normal.

Alberg worries about what continued high water will do to his already eroded shoreline. Nearby, his neighbors docks are already under water.

“I kept my [dock] out a little longer this spring because I didn’t know how far I should go out,” Alberg said.

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