MINNEAPOLIS — The falls at Minnehaha Creek may be frozen and quiet, but downstream work is underway.
"Really we saw some significant damage to the creek," project manager Tiffany Schaufler says.
That damage came five years ago when record rainfall hit Minneapolis.
Records show it was the wettest year since 1871, when meteorologists first started keeping track of rain totals.
The flooding damaged countless homes and streets and also eroded the banks of Minnehaha Creek.
“When you have eroding stream banks like this it causes dirty water and a lot of sediment in the water,” Schaufler explains.
The project includes 10 sites near the creek that saw significant erosion during the flood.
Workers will shore up those sites with several tons of dirt.
“We’ve actually done work like this in the past in 2010 and after the 2014 flooding we revisited those areas and saw they were resilient against the floods.”
The Minnehaha Creek Watershed District says it took a few years to secure funding for the project.
FEMA is kicking in $250,000 in grant money to get things going.
Schaufler says the project also required several years of planning to protect the natural beauty of the creek.
“We also had record rains since 2014, so, we couldn’t get started for a while,” Schaufler explains.
“2018 was a little bit calmer of a year and we had a good start to winter to get started.”
The project will take a few weeks complete.
Later this spring crews will plant trees and shrubs along the banks to prevent the new dirt from falling back into the creek.