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Minnehaha Creek FEMA Repairs

Project Status: 
Current Status: 

Crews are repairing 10 sites on Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis where sections of streambank and trails were eroded by high water in 2014. Seven of the sites are located downstream of Minnehaha Falls. The other three sites are east and west of I-35W.


FEMA granted an extension of the work through January 2020 as the remainder of restoration work at three sites below Minnehaha Falls is on hold due to high water flows in Minnehaha Creek. The few weeks of remaining work will resume after flows decrease enough to allow work to occur.


There are additional flood damaged sites along the creek that will be addressed as part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan. Visit their webpage for more information about the master planning process and to provide your feedback on their interactive map.

About this project: 

Erosion along Minnehaha Creek streambank

In 2014, the Twin Cities saw the wettest first half of the year since modern day record keeping began in 1871. Coupled with a long winter and late snowmelt, this extreme precipitation led to record water levels and more than $1 million worth of damage along the six main streams in the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD). For 83 consecutive days, Gray’s Bay Dam was unable to control water levels on Lake Minnetonka or Minnehaha Creek because of the high water levels. On June 23, 2014, Lake Minnetonka reached a record elevation of 931.11 feet above sea level, more than seven inches higher than the previous record, and Minnehaha Creek achieved a record flow of 889 cubic feet per second. Watch a video about the 2014 floods.

In the fall of 2014, MCWD completed a report that assessed flood damage on the District’s six major creeks, which was included in an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for funding assistance for creek repairs. MCWD received funding from FEMA for streambank repair along Minnehaha Creek within the City of Minneapolis.

MCWD works to ensure that the built and natural environments in balance create thriving communities, improve water quality and flood resilience, and enhance ecological integrity. MCWD shares the responsibility for improving the environmental quality within the Minnehaha Creek subwatershed in Minneapolis with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), and all three agencies recognize the benefit of working in close partnership. The three agencies signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in early 2017 to coordinate and leverage investments in a way that would achieve the goals of the three agencies, including repairing erosion caused by flood damage, improving water quality in Minnehaha Creek, and improving public access to the creek, while minimizing disruptions for the public.

The work to be done as part of the FEMA repairs along Minnehaha Creek (see map below) is being coordinated with the City of Minneapolis’ Southwest Harriet Flood Study, the MPRB's Southwest Service Area Master Plan, and the MPRB’s Minnehaha Parkway Regional Trail Master Plan.

Map of Planned FEMA Repairs:

View the map of planned FEMA repairs in a new window.


May – July 2018: Design of FEMA repairs

September - October 2018: Solicit bids for completing FEMA repairs

October 2018: Select contractor to complete FEMA repairs

November 2018 – June 2019: Implement FEMA repairs


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