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Flood Water Should Be Considered Contaminated, Officials Say

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(credit: CBS) Liz Collin
At 15 years old, Liz Collin made her broadcast debut covering...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Thursday was a long day for some people living near Minnehaha Creek.

In St. Louis Park, some homes were surrounded by more than a thousand sandbags.

“A lot of people could fish from their couch the water is so close,” said Brian Phaneuf, who was working to fill sandbags Thursday.

He was a member of an assembly line to keep the Minnehaha Creek out of eight homes in the Oak Knob neighborhood.

“This is the first time I’ve seen it like this,” he said.

The creek, along with Lake Minnetonka, have hit record levels.

There’s now a warning not to use any of Hennepin County’s 104 lakes and three rivers for any recreational use.

“You may have been out 1,000 times,” one official said, “but it’s different now.”

In the county’s Situation Monitoring Station, officials were up against the clock as wave after wave of rain came in.

Meteorologists, law enforcement agents, and emergency management officials are all asking metro residents to use caution.

As little as two feet of water can sweep away any kind of vehicle. Six inches in a flooded street can knock down an adult. And health officials say all flood water should be considered contaminated.

“Pesticides, petroleum products anything on the surface of these streets is going to end up in these flood waters,” said Duane Hudson, with Hennepin County Public Health.

Even though, Friday looks to be dry, there are concerns that the water will remain high for quite some time. Minnehaha Creek is about three feet higher than it should be right now, so it’s going to be weeks until it comes down.

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