Neighbors Band Together to Save Homes from Minnehaha Creek Flooding

Updated: 06/02/2014 9:10 AM By: Tim Sherno

Minnehaha Creek is flowing out of Lake Minnetonka, and the water in the lake is at the highest level on record -- with records dating back to 1906.

"There's really nowhere for this additional rain to go," Telly Mamayek from the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District said.

Mamayek says the dam at the headwaters of the creek is wide open, flowing at 300 cubic feet per second with an additional 200 cubic feet per second flowing over the spillway. Any more water will contribute to flooding.

"Mother nature is really calling the shots right now," Mamayek said.

In a neighborhood south of Minnetonka Boulevard in St. Louis Park, Fire Chief Steve Keorning says the rising water is threatening homes and that there are 13 homes they are working to protect.

Carolan Carr says she's lived in her home next to the creek for 13 years and has never seen the water this high before.

"When the chief of the fire department knocks on your door on Sunday morning, you kind of take him seriously," Carr said.

She said she wasn't sure what she was going to do to stop the rising water when people began to show up.

"I didn't know any of the people that were out there," she said. "Ninety percent of them, I don't know where they came from."
The city supplied sandbagging material, and about 150 neighbors showed up to help fill and place the barriers.

"This is a great neighborhood," Chief Koerning said. "They came together; this is all about volunteers calling each other and coming to the street, and it was pretty impressive."

The creek is expected to keep going up. Mamayek says that with more rain in the forecast, the creek will stay at unusually high levels.