High-Intensity Storms May Cause Flooding

On Saturday, June 15, 2024, the Minnehaha Creek Watershed received approximately 2 inches of rain, almost double initial National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts, according to Hennepin County Emergency Management and the U.S. Geological Survey. Within the watershed, 2.24 inches fell in the upper watershed, across tributaries to Lake Minnetonka, and rainfall totaling 1.96 inches was recorded in Minneapolis at the USGS’ Hiawatha Avenue gauge.

Saturday’s rainfall caused Minnehaha Creek to rise quickly from 137 cubic feet per second (cfs), cresting around 7:00 AM this morning at 361 cfs, according to the USGS Hiawatha Avenue gauge. Creek flow has decreased since the overnight rains, to 270 cfs, but is expected to rise again to potential flood stage this week based on forecasts of significant additional rainfall. 

In preparation for Saturday’s storm, to maintain capacity in Minnehaha Creek for the forecasted rain, while slowing the rise of Lake Minnetonka, MCWD held Gray’s Bay Dam discharge at 150 cfs. In response to the storm, Lake Minnetonka rose Saturday from 929.48 feet, up to 929.68 feet.  Lake levels are expected to continue rising this week based on forecasts of significant additional rainfall and may achieve elevations at or above the emergency spillway at 930.0 feet.

also in this update

  • Intense Precipitation Forecasted this Week
  • 2024 Precipitation Trends and Forecasts
  • Current Water Levels
  • Gray’s Bay Dam Operations
  • Water Level Resources

Read the full update

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