Sunshine and blue skies are helping reduce water levels

  • Updated: July 3, 2014 - 8:41 PM

Thanks to increased evaporation during recent sunny days, Lake Minnetonka has dropped nearly 4 inches from the record height it reached June 23. Nearly 3 inches of that loss has occurred since Sunday.

Nevertheless, it’s still 9 inches higher than the structures that normally control the outlet flow into Minnehaha Creek, a level it first surpassed May 9.

The job of restricting the flow into the creek has defaulted to a culvert and embankment downstream at McGinty Road, said Minnehaha Creek Watershed District spokeswoman Telly Mamayek. But the creek has continued to flood yards, parkland and wetlands along most of its 22-mile course through Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Edina and Minneapolis to the Mississippi River.

A U.S. Geological Survey gauge at Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis showed Friday that the creek had dropped more than a foot from where it had been June 19, which brought the Twin Cities’ greatest June single-day rainfall. But water levels are expected to remain high through much of July.

Other rivers across Minnesota, which had flooded roads in recent days, have also dropped dramatically in recent days. At St. Paul, the Mississippi was down 5 feet Friday from its June 26 crest.

Bill McAuliffe

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