Rockford sees major Crow River flooding

A swollen Crow River was getting close to the bottom of the Highway 55 bridge in Rockford on Sunday. National Weather Service observers said the water level was at 14 feet. The river was expected to crest at 15 feet on Tuesday.  (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

A swollen Crow River was getting close to the bottom of the Highway 55 bridge in Rockford on Sunday. National Weather Service observers said the water level was at 14 feet. The river was expected to crest at 15 feet on Tuesday. (Sun staff photo by Susan Van Cleaf)

County Road 92 between Independence and Minnetrista was closed to motorists over the weekend because of high water. However, the heavy rains did open up another pathway for canoeists.

County Road 92 between Independence and Minnetrista was closed to motorists over the weekend because of high water. However, the heavy rains did open up another pathway for canoeists.

County Road 92 closed Monday in Independence 

The Crow River on Monday, June 23, was nearing crests at major flood stage in Rockford and Delano. Also, County Road 92 was under water and closed to traffic until further notice between county roads 6 and 26 in Independence and Minnetrista.

Water from the County Road 92 area would drain toward the Crow River, said Public Safety Director Gary Kroells, of West Hennepin Public Safety.

Kroells said that no official detour has been posted for County Road 92. He suggested two possible detours. Motorists traveling west on County Road 6 from Maple Plain should take County Road 110 south to County Road 26, turn west and then follow it to County Road 92. Motorists traveling east from Watertown on County Road 6 should turn east onto County Road 26 through Minnestrista and north on County Road 110 to County Road 6.

Try to avoid Game Farm Road and Ingerson Road, both of which are gravel roads, Kroells said.

High water problems resulted from heavy rains last week, during which some roads in Independence and Medina were temporarily under water.

The National Weather Service at Chanhassen Friday, June 20, reported that 4.13 inches of rain had fallen at Twin Cities International Airport, thus setting a maximum rainfall record for June. This breaks the old record of 3.48 inches set on June 29, 1877. During steady rain over several days, Weather Service observers reported localized rainfall amounts of as much as 6 inches.

In Rockford, the Crow River was expected to crest at 15 feet on Tuesday, according to the Weather Service. Hydrologists expected the water level to begin to recede on Thursday and drop to minor flood stage of 8 feet by Sunday.

The predicted crest of the Crow River at Rockford would rank as the fifth highest crest since the historic 19.27-foot crest on April 16, 1965.

When the Crow River reaches 15 feet at Rockford, sanitary sewers closest to the river might begin to back up, according to the Weather Service. At a water level of 10 feet, low-lying areas along the river would begin to experience flooding.

Delano has been experiencing similar high water problems with the Crow River. The water level crested at 21 feet on Monday. This ranks second to the historic crest of 23.25 feet on April 14, 1965. The Weather Service expected the water level to begin to recede on Tuesday and drop below flood stage (16.5 feet) on Sunday.

“Slow, no wake” signs have been posted on lakes Sarah and Independence because of high water.

Independence had 8 to 10 inches of water covering the northbound lane at County Road 90 and Turner Road and the northbound lane at Townline Road and Eagle Ridge between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Thursday, June 19, Kroells said. It took about four hours for both roads to drain. Independence dodged the 1-3 inch rain that hit the Twin Cities area on Thursday.

Public works departments in both Medina and Independence reported water on some roads on Thursday, and by Friday, water levels were receding. Medina Public Works Foreman Ivan Dingmann and Independence Public Works Director Larry Ende both said Friday that they have never seen water levels this high in their cities. Dingmann has worked for Medina for 10 years and Ende has worked for Independence for 20 years.

Both cities marked roads that were under water with signs and cones in an effort to encourage motorists to slow down.

Ende said five roads in Independence had water on them on Thursday and two gravel roads had minor washouts. Roads near Pioneer Creek and Lake Independence were the most prone to problems. Problems on gravel roads have been fixed.

Sanitary sewers in Independence were running at full maximum and “they did good,” he said. No one called to report problems.

“We are very happy. We were very concerned,” Ende said.

Overall Independence experienced only minor damage. “We were very lucky,” he said.

In Medina water covered portions of North and South Tamarack Drive, Willow Drive and Maple Street on Thursday. Dingmann said the water level was a couple of inches at most and no roads were closed. During his career with Medina, the city has never had to close roads because of high water.

The Weather Service on Monday was predicting dry weather for the next couple of days. Additional rain was expected later in the week.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at susan.vancleaf@ecm-inc.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

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