“Relentless rainfall has turned Minnesota into a vast wetland”, says our weatherman. When the high volume of rain finally drains into the river systems, we get some spectacular flow over the waterfalls.
St. Anthony Falls was the only natural waterfall on the upper Mississippi — its high volume flow used to drive the flour mills in the 1800s. However, the soft limestone face of the falls was continually eroding from the power of the water going over it.
To prevent the falls from turning into a series of river rapids, the Corps of Engineers constructed a concrete apron (spillway) to preserve the driving power of the water for the mills in 1869. Later a series of locks and dams were were added to the falls area to permit river traffic north of Minneapolis.
Minnehaha Creek flows out of Lake Minnetonka (a 23 square mile, almost 15,000 acre lake) in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. The lake rose 6 inches with the rainfall from a couple of days ago, causing the creek to rise about 1.5 feet and flooding several residential areas along the creek.
It’s not over yet, the weather forecasters warn. I wish we could send some of this rainfall to California.