More rainfall increases threat of flooding in downtown Northfield

Updated: September 12, 2019 06:16 PM

All the recent rain is causing growing concern among communities sitting along flood prone rivers across the state.

In Northfield, the water levels on the Cannon Rriver that runs through the heart of town are quickly rising.


Now, the city is sending a warning out to everyone who lives or works along the river.

"I've been working in this building since 1989," said Jacqui Dorsey, with Hvistendahl, Moersch, Dorsey & Hahn, P.A.

Dorsey works along waterfront property, but it hasn't always been a luxury.

"We don't want to live that again," Dorsey said.

Dorsey is talking about the flood of 2010, cresting nearly 2 feet above the major flood stage.

"It brings up a lot of bad memories," Dorsey said.

As the Cannon River gradually rises this week, the City of Northfield is prepared for the worst.

"We have learned from our many lessons down here that it's better off to plan ahead," said Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson.

Our wet weather this week also threatens to delay the crop harvest in Minnesota which is already behind schedule. Below are statistics related to this year's harvest from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson says right now they're getting the word out to people to take precautions like preparing sandbags.

"We always want to make sure we're notifying them as early as possible," Chief Nelson said.

The National Weather Service expects the river to crest at 897 feet over the next day or two, which is right at the flood stage. But experts say depending on the rainfall, it could be even higher.

"We've seen some pretty interesting examples where it's gone up 4 or 5 feet in less than six or seven hours," Chief Nelson said. 

"We are worried about flooding in our offices and for our neighbors," Dorsey said.

Another potential flood has many just disappointed.

"What this means is we won't be able to use the downstairs part of our office," Dorsey said.

Dorsey hopes for more long-term fixes to protect their historic property, and hopes this flood isn't something to worry about.

"We're crossing fingers, toes, and everything else," Dorsey said.

Chief Nelson said he had a meeting Thursday morning with state officials and Homeland Security about finding more of a long-term solution for businesses who are prone to flooding.

Related stories:

I-90 closed, detoured at Austin due to water over the road

Crews monitoring Highway 93 at Henderson for potential flooding

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Brett Hoffland

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