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Relentless Rains Restore Minnesota Rivers, Lakes

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota is inching closer to the rainfall record for May. That’s a good thing for rivers.

So far, Minnesota has received more than nine inches of rain this month, making it the second-wettest May on record. We’ll become the wettest ever if we go above 10.33 inches — a record set a century ago.

In any case, we’re seeing the rivers, marshes and other bodies of water return to normal, according to Steve Buan, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

“All in all this is really a good thing for most of the entire Mississippi River watershed,” said Buan.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports


Water levels remain pretty high on the Minnesota River, the south fork of the Crow and a stretch of the Mississippi River from St Cloud down to Red Wing.

Lake levels are also rising.

Six weeks ago, Jared Broghamer, who lives on Lake Minnetonka, had an unexpected beach front property.

“We don’t have sandy beach exposed anymore,” he said.

Up nearly a foot since April, and several inches in the last few days, the higher lake water has a way of preventing unexpected damage. Broghamer’s boat prop has the dents to show the hazard of shallow water.

“It’s not a good feeling,” he said. “You hope it keeps going and you don’t have to totally replace the prop.”

But rising water has its problems.

“Last year, we had more water than we could handle,” said Telly Mamayek, of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District regulates water levels through the Gray’s Bay dam which connects Lake Minnetonka to Minnehaha creek.

“It’s a definite balancing act between the weather forecast, lake levels, and the capacity of the creek,” Mamayek said.

Despite all the rain, most of the state, including the metro, is still considered in abnormally dry.

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