Storm Causes High Water

The Minnehaha Creek Watershed received approximately 2.33 inches of rain over a 24-hour period on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). This was the largest rainfall event the watershed has experienced so far in 2024 and was recorded as the largest daily precipitation total the Twin Cities has received in nearly four years, according to the MN DNR Climate Journal.

Within the watershed, the heaviest of Tuesday’s rainfall came through downtown Minneapolis, where Minnehaha Creek is flashy due to the area’s highly impervious environment. This caused Minnehaha Creek to rise quickly and peak just before midnight at roughly 396 cubic feet per second (cfs), according to the USGS Hiawatha Ave. gauge. Creek flow has decreased following the storm but is expected to remain elevated as Gray’s Bay Dam discharge is increased to recapture storage on Lake Minnetonka.

In preparation for Tuesday’s storm, MCWD held dam discharge at 75 cfs, to maintain capacity in Minnehaha Creek for the forecasted rain, while slowing the rise of Lake Minnetonka. The lake rose about 2.5 inches Tuesday evening to 929.7 feet and continues to slowly rise as it receives water from the upper tributaries. MCWD increased dam discharge from 75 to 125 cfs on Wednesday and will continue to adjust dam discharge in accordance with the dam’s operating plan and projected weather forecasts.

also in this update

  • 2024 Precipitation
  • Current Water Levels
  • Gray’s Bay Dam Operations
  • Water Level Resources

Read the full update

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