Rainy Lake levels, but heavy rainfall over weekend could hinder progress

By KBJR News 1

July 6, 2014 Updated Jul 6, 2014 at 11:36 PM CDT

International Falls, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Heavy rainfall this weekend along parts of the watershed affecting Rainy Lake could continue to have an effect on the lake's high water levels in the coming days.

According to the International Rainy–Lake of the Woods Watershed Board, which monitors the U.S.–Canadian border water levels, on July 4th Rainy's level was close to peaking at its highest level since 1950.

All fifteen spill gates have been open since June sixth, but record high rainfall that month has led to inflow on Rainy Lake that far exceeded the dam's outflow capacity.

On Saturday, Rainy's water level was about 3 1/2 feet above its target for this time of year.

Flooding has prompted emergency declarations from Governor Mark Dayton, and massive volunteer sandbagging efforts in border towns like Fort Frances and International Falls.

The silver lining: the Namakan chain of lakes peak level occurred on June 18th, but it does remain about six inches above the emergency level defined by the International Joint Commission.

Crane Lake is 10 inches above this level.

Billy Wagness
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