water, water, everywhere

“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 in Minneapolis is just barely visible behind the Stone Arch bridge (one of the original bridges over the Mississippi).

St. Anthony falls in Minneapolis is just barely visible behind the Stone Arch bridge (one of the original bridges over the Mississippi).

4-6 inches of rain in 24 hours added to the already record June accumulation of rainfall has dramatically increased the flow in the Mississippi River levels

4-6 inches of rain in 24 hours added to the already record June accumulation of rainfall has dramatically increased the flow in the Mississippi River levels.  This is the first lock on the Mississippi in downtown Minneapolis.  No boats will be going through this lock today.

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.

Rainfall to date is the highest since 1871, but the latest storm has made the river surge with runoff.

Rainfall to date is the highest since 1871, but the latest storm has made the river surge with runoff.  Wave action on the river today was high enough to surf, but fast enough to drown a surfer.

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.

A high volume of water is also passing down the waterfall over Minnehaha creek

A high volume of water is also passing over the waterfall on Minnehaha Creek after the last deluge of rainfall.

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.

Minnehaha Falls on June 21, 2014 looks quite a bit different than it did three months ago during our -20 F degree weather.

Minnehaha Falls on June 21, 2014 looks quite a bit different than it did three months ago during our -20 F degree weather (below).

Minnehaha Falls on March 10, 2014

Minnehaha Falls on March 10, 2014.

It’s not over yet, the weather forecasters warn.  I wish we could send some of this rainfall to California.

6 thoughts on “water, water, everywhere

    • Thanks! You hit MN at the perfect time if you just visited, not too hot, not too cold. You might not have enjoyed the weather the day I took the photo of the frozen falls.

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