June 19, 2018 06:26 PM
A new program between the National Weather Service and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District is tracking weather conditions, specifically rain, to proactively determine how it will impact people living downstream.
Significant flooding four years ago lead to sandbagging and water in basements along the Minnehaha Creek.
As a result of this, the two organizations formed a partnership in 2016.
The NWS give the district a customized forecast detailing how much rain will fall and when.
It helps determine how much space will be needed for water coming into Lake Minnetonka from the seven surrounding streams. This allows Tiffany Schaufle to know how much to open the Gray's Bay dam and how much water to let out of the lake to flow into Minnehaha Creek.
"That's what's been really successful with the Weather Service," Schaufler said. being proactive and releasing water and then stopping it a few days before the storm, so the people on the creek aren't being flooded."
NWS Hydrologist Craig Schmidt says its a program that's working.
"They made great decisions based on some of the forecasts they were getting, and it all worked out for everybody," he said.
He hopes the NWS is able to incorporate the program in other watershed districts in the area.
Updated: June 19, 2018 06:26 PM
Created: June 19, 2018 03:11 PM
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