Delano Coffee Shop Takes on Crow River

Updated: 06/22/2014 2:15 PM By: Megan Stewart

A makeshift clay wall surrounds the Delano cafe's building.
A makeshift clay wall surrounds the Delano cafe's building.
Photo: Photo: KSTP/Josh Rosenthal

It's the Crow River versus a Delano coffee shop with an army of volunteers.

The river nearly reached 19 feet Saturday, nine feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service. That's a big problem for the Three Crows Café and Coffee Bar, which backs up to the river in Delano.

Mitch Kezar was one of the dozens of volunteers who came out to fill sand bags Saturday.

"I think we need some more Y-D-M, young dumb muscle," Kezar said.

The volunteers went at it all day, filling a sand bag or two then having a conversation or three.

"It's like the Cheers bar," one volunteer said. "You know, you walk in and they go, 'Norm!'"

The volunteers didn't have to help, they wanted to. The sense of community is a rare positive side effect of really lousy weather.

Kezar said most volunteers already knew each other.

Gina Coburn owns the place. She says its flooded three times in ten years. Every single time huge groups of people come out to help.

"I don't know, maybe it's the Delano thing to do. I'm not sure. It's just, it's wonderful," she said.

Coburn said the Three Crows basement will flood. That means people will watch the pumps all night long.

"So if you're not doing anything in the middle of the night," Coburn cracked up, "we've got a job for you."