Photo of the week

Two views of Eric Johnson holding court at the Goodbye Blue Monday. (Click either photo for full-sized, 700K versions.)

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L to R: Wes Chapman, Joel Pumper, Mark Code, Merle Dahl

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Feedback please

I'm interested in getting feedback on our flood coverage this week. It's really the first time we've attempted to cover a breaking news story.

Northfield.org is operated by Northfield Citizens Online (NCO), an all-volunteer, non-profit organization. We're always on the lookout for ways to expand and improve what we do and that sometimes takes money.

Potential funders like to know what impact our services are having on the community, and it often helps to have anecdotal comments to complement the data.

So please consider using our Contact Us form to let us know what you liked and didn't like about our flood coverage this week... and how we might improve in the future when we attempt to cover breaking news events in the area.

Thanks!

Here's an MP3 audio greeting from Richard Nash of Edina, MN. He's related to the Pleschourt family in the Northfield and Dundas area. (He injured an arm and can't easily type, hence the audio.)


Crest!

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The Cannon River appears to have crested sometime overnight. At 5:15 this morning, the water level was slightly below the top the wall under the footbridge.

The Weather Service has a statement about storm potential and flooding potential for later today, but nothing about the crest.

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A Mallard Duck pair paddling about River Walk this morning in front of Froggy Bottoms.

An article in today's Northfield News: Rising waters cause concern by Erick Sommers.

10:30 am update: I've added another ten photos to page 5 of the high water gallery. The photos were taken this morning between 5-7am. That's the end of my photography for this news event. Contact Us if you have photos you've taken of the high water that you'd like to see posted and we'll tell you the best way to send them to us or post them yourself.


Additions to the photo gallery

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At 9 pm, the river was up slightly since 6 PM but the scene downtown tonight was made more memorable because of the spectacular sky -- the sunset offset by the edge of the receding thunderstorm, casting a golden glow over downtown.

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Mary Rossing and Dan Freeman

I've added a couple dozen photos to the gallery, on pages 4 and 5.

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Note: all the photos in the High Water Photo Gallery have 3 sizes:

- A small thumbnail

- A medium, 640 pixel-wide/half-page version

- And a large, full-size original which you can see by clicking on any medium photo.


Flood statement

The National Weather Service issued a revised flood statement at 8 pm:

THE CANNON RIVER AT NORTHFIELD WILL CREST THIS EVENING. THE CANNON RIVER STAGE AT NORTHFIELD WAS 21.8 FEET AT 9 AM. AT 6 PM...THE STAGE WAS 22.1 FEET. THE STAGE IS FORECAST TO CREST NEAR 22.5 FEET BEFORE BEGINNING TO SLOWLY RECEDE.


One more update tonight

I'll take a few more photos before dark to see if the river's still rising. I'll post an update before 11pm, as well as a pointer to any crest prediction updates that are issued.

We received only about a quarter inch of rain at my house from the 6:30 PM storm. It was thin and fast-moving.


Forecast, watches, warnings

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Whack! Looks like it's nearly all happening in our watershed. We'll probably see a revised crest forecast being issued later this evening after rainfall totals are established. The tornado watch has been extended to 11 PM but I'm not seeing anything developing on the radar right now (6:30pm) after this cell passes through.

Flood watch


Photo gallery additions: 5 PM

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The river continues to rise. It's breached the top of the wall on the west side by the footbridge. The city has given up on pumping water out of the walkway.

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The police have marked off part of the river walk above the dam on Bridge Square because logs churning below have flipped up and hit the iron railing on two different occasions.

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Mayor Keith Covey surveys the city workers surveying below who are preparing to protect the two power transformers on either side of the footbridge.

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Kurt Larsen, Larson's Printing, has decided to beef up the dike to protect his new basement.

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The folks on Bridge Square are in a festive mood, as is this guy, emperor of Foldcraft Company in Kenyon, Steve Sheppard.

See a couple dozen new photos on pages 3 and 4 of the high water photo gallery, all taken between approximately 5-6 pm.

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Storms brewing in the watershed

I'm off to take some more photos... should have them up by 5 or 5:30.

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There appears to be two large thunderstorm cells rapidly growing in southern MN and Northern Iowa at this hour... and moving NNE.

Of course, the issue is not so much whether the storms dump a lot of rain in the immediate Northfield area, but how much they dump in the Cannon River watershed.

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Click the image for a full-size map on the Cannon River Watershed's Project's website.


Tornado watch

At 2:10 PM, the weather service issued a tornado watch till 7pm for a large area of southern Minnesota.

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River update: 1:30 PM

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I took this photo at 1:30 PM. The City is pumping water out of the River Walk area, apparently to minimize damage to the inner rock wall and landscaped areas.

You can see that the river is starting to splash the top edge of the wall now (red arrow), as it continues to rise. In 2001, the river rose to the top of the handrail bar on top of the wall, so it has another 1-2 feet to go before it tops that unofficial marker.

Note: all the photos in the High Water Photo Gallery have 3 sizes:

- A small thumbnail

- A medium, 640 pixel-wide/half-page version

- And a large, full-size original which you can see by clicking on any medium photo.

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2:00 PM radar. Thunderstorms are developing near Marshall. Oh-oh.


New Weather Service Flood Statement & Forecast: 10:45 am

The National Weather Service has a revised flood statement & forecast posted as of 10:45 am.
LATER THIS AFTERNOON AND INTO THE OVERNIGHT A VIGOROUS AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL ERUPT ACROSS MUCH OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND CENTRAL MINNESOTA...


River data

I spoke with Northfield's Emergency Management coordinator Tim Isom a few minutes ago. He said the phone number that the police department calls for river level and flow rate here in Northfield is not a Carleton number. It's a private number, linked to a privately-owned river guage and they don't give it out to anyone other than police departments.

The river was as 21.49 ft. last night at 7 pm. This morning at 9 am it was 21.84 ft.

Tim also said the last time that the river was this high was in 2001. We're not quite as high as that crest... yet. The fact that the sun is now shining is actually bad news, as it increases the likelihood and severity of afternoon thunderstorms.

Doug Foxgrover and colleagues at the Dept of Physics and Astronomy at Carleton College maintain a local weather page/database, and it has a link to a USGS water level graphing page for the Cannon River at Welch.


Forecast, flood statements

See the National Weather Service forecasts and flood statement page for Northfield. (Thanks to Bart de Malignon for the link.)


River update: 6:15 am

KYMN news reported at 6:05 that the Straight River in Owatonna is expected to rise another .2-.3 of a foot by noon, and that Cannon River in Northfield is not expected to crest till Friday evening.

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I've added another ten high resolution photos to the high water gallery, including shots of Riverside Park, Sechlar Park, and Lyman Lakes.

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