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Cannon Falls Assesses Flood Damage

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CANNON FALLS, Minn. (WCCO) - The Cannon River is still going at a fast pace Saturday in downtown Canon Falls. But it has dropped 8 feet in 24 hours.
As the river receded, the scale of the damage downtown became evident.

Aaron Stahosky and his brother Jared are taken aback by Mother Nature.

“It’s kind of amazing to see how much power there is behind the water,” said Aaron.

Everywhere they looked, they saw nature’s toll on the landscape.

“I’m just checking out how far the trees got wedged up in the bridge there,” said Jared.

The Cannon River and Little Cannon River overflowed their banks, prompting voluntary evacuations Friday. By Saturday, the river level had fallen.

Cannon Falls Police Chief Jeff McCormick calls the damage “extensive” to city parks and other structures.

William Lakefield, owner of Cannon Falls Canoe & Bicycle Rental, is dealing with his own property issues. 30 canoes floated away when the river rose.

“You know the risk when you’re in a flood plain,” said McCormick.

William’s got a $30 thousand investment in all his lost canoes, and at least one of them isn’t coming back in good shape.

A badly damaged canoe was sighted on an island in the Canon River, wrapped around a tree. Lakefield’s son is searching for the others.

Lakefield plans to re-open Cannon Falls Canoe and Bicycle Rental next weekend, using the rest of his inventory.

It’s a way for William to stay afloat, following the flooding that took folks by surprise.

On Monday, city leaders plan to take an inventory of all the damage done with this flooding in downtown Canon Falls, and put a cost estimate on the clean-up.

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