In one of the wettest starts to the year ever in the metro, it is likely no surprise that high water levels are setting records on area lakes and creeks. Lake Minnetonka is now at its highest level since records began more than 100 years ago in 1906. The record elevation of 930.58 feet was reached Sunday afternoon, with a further rise possible by the end of Monday.
The lake is now over its banks and threatening homes and roads that surround it. It is part of the Minnehaha creek watershed with water flowing at full pace into the creek to drain some of the water from the lake since it is over capacity. This water, combined with the quick 2 to 5 inches of rain much of the watershed experienced over the weekend, allowed the creek to reach record level as well with nearly 600 cubic feet of water per second flowing through it.
As for the overall look, the creek jumped almost three feet in a matter of hours to encompass many paths and even a few homes along the way. But this jump in level is nothing to what High Island Creek in Sibley County experienced. The creek jumped nearly 7 feet in less than 12 hours with more than 10 times the amount of water flowing in it than normal.
It went from 80 cubic feet of water per second to 2800 in about 10 hours. That is an unbelievable increase in capacity. All of this water flowing out of creeks and streams will eventually make it to the main rivers like the Mississippi and Minnesota, with parts of these likely above flood stage by the end of the week. So the best advice I can give is just stay away from the high water for a while.