Business Owners Race to Save Shops along Cannon River

Updated: 06/20/2014 7:12 AM
Created: 06/19/2014 8:23 PM
By: Cassie Hart

South of the Twin Cities metro, the Cannon River is moving fast. Between 6 a.m. and noon Thursday, the water rose 5 inches, according to the Northfield police chief.

It's much more than local businesses owners wanted to see, whose shops are located right along the water. With more storms on the way, a tight-knit community doesn't know what to expect.

All they can do now is prepare.

"This is definitely like, this is unusual," said Mark Emmons, Northfield resident and volunteer sandbagger, who just graduated from St. Olaf.

The unusual amount of rain pounded this low-lying city in a short amount of time, and as the rain keeps coming down, the flooding gets worse.

"It's extremely fast right now, and that's one of our biggest concerns is a flash flood," said Stephanie Aman, Marketing and Member Services Manage with Just Food Co-op.

That could ruin local shops.

"It's a community effort, and it's going on all the way through town, too," Aman said.

A few blocks north by the dam and through to the river walk, those who call Northfield home are pitching in.

"We're just trying to stay ahead of it by pumping it out, and we have our sandbags here in order to keep it as far away from the building as we can, though we are starting to get water in the building," said Greg Carlson, owner of Carlson Capital Management.

Bag by bag, it's a race against time to save businesses.

"We're trying to prevent that from happening, but I don't know if we are going to be able to do it or not," Carlson said. But as their doubt rises, so does the water.

"Without the help of the community, there's no way we would stay ahead of this, but I think it's going to be a maybe all day and maybe all night ordeal to see if we can fight nature," Carlson said.

They're concerned Mother Nature might win.

Authorities have closed the Fourth Street Bridge, a walking bridge and a biking bridge near Highway 3, due to the high waters.

The Northfield police chief says, luckily, there have been no evacuations. But, that could change if the town gets pounded with more rainfall.

In the Jordan, Belle Plaine and Blakeley area, Chopper 5 shows an unbelievable mess.

County Road 6 is closed just outside of Blakeley near the Minnesota River because of mud covering the pavement. At the Valley Green Community, the water was more than knee deep. Jordan's fire chief says there was a voluntary evacuation earlier in the day.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

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