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High Water Levels Dash Many July Fourth Plans

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77688_Edward Moody WEB Edward Moody
Edward Moody joined WCCO-TV as a reporter and weekend anchor in Augu...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A frustrating Fourth of July is in store for some Twin Cities families. Several lakes and rivers have dangerously high water levels in addition to storm debris floating on or just below the surface.

The water is moving so fast that the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis and near Minnehaha Park has been off limits to all boaters for the last ten days.

The locks for commercial barges just reopened Wednesday, but recreational boating is still prohibited.

Tim Altier says his family may need to tweak their Fourth of July plans for a “staycation.”

“One of the areas that we normally go boating on is the Mississippi River,” Altier said. “We just didn’t even go out there because it becomes a dangerous situation with such high water levels.”

The raging waters of the Mississippi are so high the DNR is warning boaters to stay away this Independence Day. Strong currents and large debris, including stacked-up logs on the St. Paul side, simply pose too big a risk.

“I won’t boat on the river until the water is to a normal level and the current flow is kind of normal,” Altier said.

Lake levels are a concern, too. Authorities are asking boaters on Lake Minnetonka to take extra care and follow existing speed restrictions.

“Minnetonka’s a great lake because it’s marked so well. There’s really no reason for people not to follow the rules,” Erik Schiendler said.

This week, the DNR announced high water warnings on Medicine and Fish lakes, asking boaters to use caution and wear life jackets.

A no-wake zone is currently in effect for the St. Croix River. No Twin Cities lakes have been declared no-wake zones, but that can change day-to-day.

Call your county sheriff’s office for local conditions.

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