MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is warning swimmers and boaters about high water on many Minnesota lakes and rivers this holiday weekend.

Recent heavy rains have triggered no-wake zones. Some rivers are so flooded that the DNR urges families to just stay away.

There are signs the water is high all around Stillwater. Roads are closed, fences are up and there is no wake allowed.

“I think we actually launched our boat on what would normally be the parking lot,” said Darrell Buchholz, of Montello, Wisconsin.

It is impacting what boaters can do on the river.

“A lot of the beaches that we normally go to are submerged,” said Tim Bert of Edina. “You’re limited. You can’t tube, you can’t pull people on the back of the boat and do water activities.”

The DNR lists the St. Croix River as “very high,” meaning paddling is considered dangerous and is something people should avoid.

(credit: CBS)

The departments suggests boaters exercise extreme caution or stay away until the water recedes.

“With a boat this size, you never need to wait for the lift bridge to go up, but not today,” said Julie McDaniel, of Roseville.

Boaters realize safety concerns come with high water. The DNR reports there could be hazards in the water, downed trees, even concrete barriers that are no longer visible.

“The shoreline looks really different,” McDaniel said. “Since you don’t know how much is covered on the sides, there’s a lot of things you could hit that you wouldn’t normally hit.”

And beyond boating, the high water levels are also disrupting businesses.

“There’s a restaurant that is partly under water,” McDaniel said.

Patrons will have to wait for the water to recede before enjoying the patio at PD Pappy’s.

The DNR says high water can make the river fast and unpredictable. They advise people to wear a life jacket when on a river or lake.

Click here to check river levels.

Jennifer Mayerle

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