Photo gallery additions: 5 PM

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.

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.

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

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

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.


Storms brewing in the watershed

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

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.

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.


River update: 1:30 PM

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.

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.

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.

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


River update: 5:15 AM

I spoke with Seargant Murphy at the Northfield Police Department a few minutes ago. The river's still rising, though very slowly. They're monitoring it via a phone call to an automated system at Carleton College which gets its information via the Army Corps of Engineers.

I'll listen to the 6 am KYMN news and post any new information then. I should have more photos up in the gallery by 6:30 am.

More rain is on the way. See this My-Cast radar image from 5:30 am:

Sandbagging at SMSQ: 9:15 PM

Five more high-res photos added in the Gallery, all of sandbaggers at SMSQ.

11pm: I'll try to post more photos early on Friday morning, along with an update from the safety center.

River update: 9pm

I've added another 5 photos to the gallery, including a high-res version of the one above of City Council members CC Lindstroth and Jim Pokorney.

River update: 7 PM


I spoke with Officer Bill Olsen at approximately 6 pm (seen in the above photo with City Public Works Director Heidi Hamilton). He was monitoring the situation on the 5th St. bridge where H & H Tree Service from Dundas was working to dislodge the log jam on the south side of the bridge. Most of the big logs were plucked from the river but they couldn't move a tangle of smaller logs and branches as their boom wasn't long enough. Carleton College was sending some equipment that would supposedly do the deed.

Officer Olsen said that no sandbagging was planned overnight. The Straight River apparently was going down at Owatonna and was expected to crest shortly in Faribault. They were still expecting it to come up 1-2 feet before crest in Northfield.

I've added 20 or so more high-res photos in the high water gallery, taken at approximately 6 PM today.


Dean Kjerland is monitoring the river's rise by measuring the distance between the water and the footbridge. The smaller the distance, the higher the water. Here are his measurements: last update: 11:45 pm

Two more feet?

KYMN Radio reported at 5:20 pm that Northfield City officials expect the Cannon River to rise an additional two feet in Northfield, even if no more rain falls.

Officials are not asking the public for help with sandbagging at this time.

Call me on my cell at 507-319-2650 if you have more info or use the Contact page.

Cannon River photo gallery at 3 PM


The water continues to rise on the Cannon River in downtown Northfield today... almost to its 100-year flood stage.

See all the high-res photos in the high water gallery from approximately 3 PM today.


High water on River Walk

The drought is over. Photo taken at 10 am today. This area of the River Walk was dry at 7 am.

Jim Bohnhoff at SMSQ's world headquarters on the Cannon River, doing what needs to be done.

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