High Water Levels Making Local Waterways Dangerous

Updated: 06/07/2014 6:57 AM
Created: 06/07/2014 10:00 AM

(KSTP) - High water is turning area rivers treacherous.

That statement became true for Jordan Kraabel, who graduated from Andover high school. He and 179 other seniors went on a 17-mile canoeing trip down the St. Croix to celebrate. He says, the outing turned into a disaster after a canoe tipped over.

"We saw them they were floating down river for about a mile," Kraabel says he tried to help.

"When I jumped in I started going down stream the opposite from them," he said.

Kraabel says he went down river for about a mile. They ended up drifting to shore. All three survived, but were taken to a local hospital.

Right now, the rivers are high and fast. Steve Buan a hydrologist with the National Weather Service says water levels are life threatening.

"In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area with the Mississippi River right now we're running at about 60,000 cubic feet per second," he said.

He says, this time of year it should around 20,000. As for the St. Croix River, it is quite high.

"It's probably about three times higher than it should be this time of year," Buan said.

The currents are high because of the volume of water. Right now, the locks at St. Anthony Falls is closed to boaters. It is the third time this year they've closed because of high water. Kraabel says he loves the water but he is counting his blessings he survived.

"From the looks of the St. Croix it looked perfectly calm on the top. Everything was totally fine and then when you get in that river it takes you down," he said.   

Water levels are expected to recede around the Fourth of July, according to officials. 

Photo: MGN Online