All of that rain had to go somewhere, and it looks like the Crow River is going to reach some record levels Sunday, June 22, according to predictions from the National Weather Service.
That would be the highest levels seen since the historic flood of 1965, which forced the city to place a new river dike system through the town. In that spring, the river reached a height of 23.25.
April 1969 also saw high waters in Delano with a crest of 20.45 feet. This Sunday’s crest would pass that mark as the second-hgihest recorded.
This would be the latest crest of more than 20 feet in Delano and the first time, ever, it’s topped more than 20 feet in the summer. The highest summer crest prior to this was 1993, when the Crow hit 18.75 feet on June 25.
Residents should plug their sanitary sewer drains, as recommended when the river tops 19 feet. At 20.3 feet, water could seep through the east bank of the dike along North River Street/County Road 17 in Delano. Drives should watch for signs.
If the river cracks 21feet, which it isn’t forecast to at this time but could if rains arrive Friday and/or Sunday, water could flow over the otp of the dike of the river on Second Street in Delano.
Major flooding is also expected closer to home in Rockford, where the crest should hit between 15.3 and 15.4 feet around 3 a.m. on Monday, June 23. That’s well below that 1965 flood level of 19.27 feet, thanks to dams on the river. However, it’s still a top five crest, easily eclipsing 14.5 feet in 201 and nearly matching 16.14 feet in 1957.
Homes close to the river should begin to plug sanitary sewers, which is a recommendation any time the river reaches 15 feet. Rockford’s west bank dike is good to 17 feet. At 19 feet, engineers will be concerned about he temporary levee protecting downtown Rockford. The height of the top bank on the west side of the river is 17.2 feet, the NWS reports.
Though there are no gauges, flooding will occur around the Crow’s confluence with the Mississippi near Otsego. Drivers should take caution in low-lying areas, particularly Hennepin County 144 (near Hassan Gravel) which was flooded out when the river crested in spring 2011 at just 20 feet in Delano.
A severe thunderstorm watch for nearly all of Minnesota has been issued for tonight, Friday, June 20, until 10 p.m. The National Weather Service is also warning drivers to avoid low-lying areas tonight for concerns of flash flooding.