ANNANDALE, Minn. (WCCO) — Heavy rains throughout the month of July are causing flooding problems all across the state.

One area where the water’s really been on the rise is in Stearns County in central Minnesota. We don’t think of sandbagging as a summertime chore, but that’s what a number of cabin owners are being forced to do.

And the number of lakes with emergency no wake rules keeps expanding.

“This is the sump pump, it’s what’s keeping the water out of the basement,” said John Born, who owns a residence on Locke Lake.

On Wright County’s Locke Lake, residents like Born are spending more time flipping sump pumps and sandbags than fishing lures. The longer his summer drags on, the higher the water gets. His dock, like so many others is totally useless. Only the steel poles protrude out of the high water.

“Those poles are at least seven feet long. I’m trying to save the dock and keep from pulling it in,” said Born.

Heavy summer rains have pushed the lake up four feet above normal. Lisa Hurt is among the many homeowners forced to sandbag, something few here ever remember doing.

“Nope, never, in 50-plus years. Not that I’m 50, it just hasn’t been this way in 50-plus years,” said Hurt.

All around the county, high water is covering roads and causing lakes and wetlands to spill over banks. On Clearwater Lake near Annandale, cabins are turning into houseboats. And after a couple of rain free days, the high water is heading down, ever so slowly.

“When I can see the tires on my dock, I’m gaining ground. Each day it looks an inch less. Almost out of the water now,” said Roger Belanger, a Clearwater Lake resident.

And because of the threat of serious lakeshore erosion, the Wright County board just instituted more emergency no wake rules. That means 17 more lakes have now been added to the list of central Minnesota lakes where the only boating is at closed throttle.


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