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Boreal Community Media

Rising Water Levels Have Some Minnesota Resort Owners On Edge

May 18, 2022 10:21AM ● By Laura Durenberger
Photo: Laura Durenberger-Grunow

By Erin Hassanzadeh - WCCO News - May 17, 2022

Just along the shores of Voyageurs National Park, Jennifer Gelo is sitting watching the water creep closer — gobbling up her docks and inching towards her cabins. 

“It’s a little nerve wracking,” said Gelo. “Our cabins are surrounded by water. We’ve got a lot of sandbags out. It’s getting pretty dicey.”

Twenty-six years at the Sandy Point Lodge, and this is worst flooding she’s ever seen. Some cancellations are rolling in, though some are keeping their reservations.

“No matter if you own a resort or just have a house on the edge of the lake, or this is your summer getaway cabin. If you got a dock, you’re in trouble,” said Gelo.

Rachel Hopper with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says flooding is closing boat launches, impacting some camp sites, and closing parts of some parks and trails.

“We’re actually seeing the impacts statewide, which is a little surprising. Some of the most serious impacts are of course in our northern region of the state along the north shore,” Hopper said. “We are experiencing never-before-seen levels of water flow with some of those rivers.”

Photo: Jennifer Gelo

She says the High Falls Bridge in Tettegouche State Park will be closed for a long period of time.

Closer to the cities there’s minor flooding in St. Francis along the Rum River, and it’s cresting Wednesday.

In Stillwater, there’s definitely high water that could impact your next visit. WCCO Meteorologist Chris Shaffer tells us it’s supposed to peak Wednesday into Thursday.

But at Voyageurs National Park, backcountry campsites and trails are closed for the month, and many trails are flooded Docks at many resorts like Gelo’s are under water.

“This is what pays our bills. This is what we need,” Gelo said. “We can’t afford to stay empty.”

Many things remain open, but visitors should keep a close eye on things, which is exactly what Gelo will continue to do.

“We’re just going to cling onto that and hope for the best.”

To see the original report follow this link to the WCCO News website. 

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