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Minnesota’s first flood warning of the year issued in Northfield


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    NORTHFIELD, Minnesota (WCCO) — Melting snow is feeding the Cannon River in Northfield, and triggering the first flood warning of the year in Minnesota.

Northfield is already seeing some standing water, and the Cannon River – which runs right through downtown – is expected to crest sometime Wednesday afternoon.

“Seeing a huge log sitting in it is a little unusual,” said Andy Sibenaller, as he checked out the raging river after work.

Sibenaller and Amy Gerdesmeier received the flood warning and came to see the river for themselves.

“The last snowstorm we had melted so fast, I was like ‘woah,’ and then I drove past it the other day and it was crazy, it was so high,” Gerdesmeier said.

According to the latest update from the National Weather Service Monday afternoon, the Cannon River at Northfield is expected to crest something Wednesday afternoon at minor flood stage.

Water had already started to flood the soccer field at Carleton College Monday, as well as parts of East River Trail.

“The river walk is kind of a spillway to our backdoor, and so we’re the first place flooded in Rice County every year,” said property owner David Hvistendahl.

Since a devastating flood in 2010, Hvistendahl has made big changes to his riverfront properties, including Froggy Bottoms River Pub & Lily PADio.

“We had to reinvest in the building, figure out how to make it more river resistant,” he said.

Hvistendahl says he moved his AC unit, raised electrical wires and installed flood panels. He’s hopeful this year the water won’t reach his patio.

“As always, we feel apprehensive because it can turn on just one good rain storm,” he said.

Northfield isn’t alone. The National Weather Service says river cities south of St. Paul could be in a flood of trouble soon.

“We’ll see kind of like a steady rise in the river levels going into next week, to where we could start seeing some spring peaks by late next week,” said NWS hydrologist Craig Schmidt.

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