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.

West side, downtown living

David Hvistendahl of Hvistendahl, Moersch & Dorsey has a newly refurbished efficiency apartment for rent by the day or longer in his building on the west side of dowtown Northfield.

The unit is on the upper level, far right, above his Froggy Bottoms pub.

Kurt Larson of Larson's Printing has one remaining apartment for rent in his new building.

The unit is on the second floor, overlooking the walkway. An Erbert and Gerbert's Subs shop will be moving into the lower level retail space soon.

Dean Kjerland of Archeopaleo has one remaining condo for sale in his new River Walk Condominiums building.

The unit is on the second floor, overlooking the river.

Testing audioblogging

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We have the ability to post to this weblog with audio.

Heidi and Howard show

Ross Currier, (left) Executive Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation with City of Northfield staffers Heidi Hamilton, the new Director of Public Works, and Howard Merriam, the new Director of Resource and Park Planning.

They presented at the monthly NDDC mtg on June 1 in the Archer House conference room.

Northfield, Northfielders in the news

Star Tribune
Librarians face federal deadline
Adam Gurno vehemently opposes Internet filters on public computers. As a public library patron, he's going to have to accept that they'll be there. As a Northfield Public Library Board member, he finds himself charged with helping to set policies governing their use.

Big-time players
Carleton College senior Dan Lansberg gave his chess pieces a rousing pep talk before he battled fellow Carleton senior Taylor Curtis. "We are in fact the good guys, but it doesn't mean we're going to show any mercy," he told his rooks, knights and pawns. "Some of you will not live," he said. "But go forth, God bless, and prepare to crush them all!" Don't worry. He wasn't talking to himself. His pieces -- members of the 2-year-old chess club at Northfield's Prairie Creek Community School -- responded to Lansberg's speech with a loud cheer.

Reaffirming a duty to serve others
In this letter from Virginia, Northfield Police Chief Gary Smith describes the law enforcement training course he is attending at the FBI Academy.

Big and small districts have quirks, superintendent says Osseo Superintendent Chris Richardson has been hired to lead the Northfield district starting July 1. He will succeed Terry Tofte, who is retiring after four years in Northfield. Richardson will move from a district with about 22,000 students to one with fewer than 4,000.

One coach, one sport for both genders at St. Olaf College
Le Ann Finger had to decide. The St. Olaf College coach could either travel with her men's golf team to its meet in Madison, Wis., or she could travel with her women golfers to their meet in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Pioneer Press
Carleton scholar led fly-fishing class
This spring, Carleton College President Robert Oden Jr., combined his passion for teaching and for fly-fishing by leading a fly-fishing class at Carleton's recreation center.

Pastor and scholar preaches the virtues of hospitality
If you don't know Martin Marty, you haven't been paying attention. The 73-year-old Lutheran pastor with the ever-present bow tie has left his imprint on American religious life. He is the author of 50 books, winner of the National Book Award and a constant fixture in documentaries and panel discussions. Time magazine once called him the "most influential interpreter of religion." He also is a senior regent and past acting president of St. Olaf College in Northfield and the father of Minnesota state Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville.

Downtown as a wi-fi hotspot?


Dave Koenig and Goodbye Blue Monday's Dan Riggins whoop it up over the coffeehouse's new wi-fi access.

Should all of downtown Northfield be a public wi-fi hotspot (high speed wireless Internet access) as an economic development benefit?

Should there be wi-fi access for the public at City Hall? The library?

Join the ISSUES discussion list to learn more about the issue.

And if you know of other public wi-fi hotspots in the Northfield area, contact us. The only other one I'm aware of is at The Contented Cow.

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