Major flooding possible at Mississippi River near Aitkin
The water level of the Mississippi River near Aitkin is currently at 17.44 feet, just over half a foot below the major flood stage of 18 feet.
The last time it was over 17’ was in 2012 when it crested at 18.61 feet. Before that, the last time was in 2001 at 17.74 feet. The last time before that was in 1979 when it crested at 17.12 feet.
Moderate flooding is at 15 feet. At this level, a few homes become surrounded by water in the Cedarbrook neighborhood near Eagle Road, and the Aitkin City Park becomes flooded.
At 17 feet, pumping begins at the waste water treatment plant, sandbagging begins at the Aitkin City transformer, and water tops the levees on the north side of Aitkin.
The current flooding has forced road closures and impacted homes and businesses.
The Green House usually opens April 1st but was forced to delay this season’s opening because of the flooding. According to Manager Gina Hasskamp, the road to the business was blocked at 9 am on Wednesday morning due to the water coming up to the sidewalk. By Thursday afternoon, water in the building was around four inches deep.
“I think that we’re excited about getting to open, but we do have to wait,” said Hasskamp. “My boss was just here and saw the damage firsthand and there’s nothing we can do but just hang on and we’re going to hang tough, and when we open, we’re going to open up strong.”
The Green House hopes to open in time for Mother’s Day.
Elsewhere, in the Cedarbrook neighborhood of Eagle Road, fields have become covered in water waist-deep in some areas. Farmer Pat Cordie has been unable to plant this year’s soybean crop, and his field might not be dry in time.
“By the time the water’s off, it takes another two weeks if you don’t get any rain just to dry the fields since they’re saturated. I’m 99% sure we won’t plant this year,” said Cordie. “We had insurance on it, but it basically just kind of covers here because we were bought in a seed for this year, not enough to make payments with. So it’s tough every year you can’t plant.”
Down the road, some homes cannot be accessed by car.
“The main road is underwater and there’s another road out back that takes you to the other neighbor and that one’s completely under too,” said Elijah Ramstell. “My neighbor’s having to take the airboat and go over and drop off supplies for them so they don’t have to drive through the water, ruin their cars.”
There is a Flood Warning in effect for this location until further notice.
RELATED: A Flood Watch has been issued for most of the Northland.
The water level has been holding steady for the past couple of days, but there could be an increase this week due to expected rain and snow.
If it reaches the major flood stage of 18 feet, the Aitkin sewage plant will be inoperable.
The latest forecast can be found at WDIO.com/weather