Teen swept away by raging West Chaska Creek rescued - KMSP-TV

Teen swept away by raging West Chaska Creek rescued

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Photo taken on June 22, 2014 by Iris Perez Photo taken on June 22, 2014 by Iris Perez
CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) -

Creek Road may be closed, but the fire chief in Chaska says many onlookers have been drawn to the damage West Chaska Creek has caused. Now, he's hoping a recent close call will convince people to keep away.

"We're supposed to get a bunch of rain in the next few days," Chaska Fire Chief Tim Wiebe warned. "That's not going to help the situation. So, it's critical that people stay away from this moving water."

Over the weekend, a 14-year-old Chaska boy nearly drowned when he tried to cross the raging creek. Recent rains helped the creek to swell, and it intensified the current, too. In fact, the normally small stream eroded and destroyed the northbound lane and shoulder of Creek Road in the days before the teen's rescue.

"The creek was about 5 feet deep, so they really had no chance across that creek," Wiebe said.

Wiebe said the call that came in on Saturday afternoon was a first in his 20-year career. Officials told Fox 9 News the teens were apparently horsing around when the boy apparently tried to wade across but was swept about 300 feet downstream instead. The teen was able to catch a branch and hold himself, and that's when a volunteer firefighter was able to step in.

"We had life jackets and a throw ring and some rope in our command vehicles," Wiebe explained. "We were able to throw it to the boy and we were able to pull him to shore."

The fire department declined to release the identity of the teen, but did say that he is okay despite the ordeal.

"His parents came to pick him up from the scene," Wiebe said.

While Wiebe may not be willing to take much credit for the rescue, describing it as "just doing our job," he does have one request for the community.

"I hope this is the last time I ever have to be involved in this," he said frankly.

The effects of the record rainfall are expected to stick around until early August -- but that's only true if a dry spell visits the area. In the interim, watershed experts say it's best to stay off the water until it has a chance to recede.

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