Minneapolis Looks to Solve Flash Flooding Issues on North Side

September 21, 2018 06:33 PM

The fall harvest in Stephanie Sakes' garden is now gone after flash flooding ripped through her North Minneapolis neighborhood Thursday night.

“It looks literally like a little river coming down here,” she said.


She moved her car to higher ground just in time. She’s lost two cars in the past to flooding on her street at 35th Avenue North and Washburn Avenue North.

“I left a car parking on this side of the street and I didn't know it flooded like that and I got in and the entire car was just trashed,” said Sakes.

“You are talking at least two to three feet of water, maybe more, rushing through here,” said neighbor Christopher Farah.

Homeowners in the area say streets, yards and houses there flood at least once a year in storms not nearly as bad as Thursday night’s rain.

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“It's been a constant surge of people complaining and complaining,” said Farah.

“My son's on a first name basis with the people that they call over at the city to say, ‘You know, it happened again. We need the streets swept.,’” said Joellen Johnson of her son, who she says is regularly out in the storm raking storm drains of debris in thigh-high water.

Back in 2011, a five-block greenway was built nearby to address a portion of the problem. City officials say they're currently evaluating other solutions for the remaining flood-prone blocks.  

But there's currently no permanent plan in place.

“I’m not sure what the solution is but there's got to be a way to fix it,” said Sakes.

Council member Phillipe Cunningham said flood mitigation is a top priority for him. 

He’s been working with Minneapolis Public Works and the neighborhood to find a solution and is currently researching adding more greenways and rain gardens in order to create a space for the water to go. 

He said whatever the solution ends up being, it needs to be an environmentally friendly one as the water gathered here flows into Crystal Lake and the Mississippi.


Katherine Johnson

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