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Flood concerns near Minnehaha Creek

Crews broke up an ice jam on Minnehaha Creek on Thursday morning.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — The rain and rapid thaw is causing some problems along Minnehaha Creek. 

Thursday morning, crews with the city of Minneapolis broke up an ice jam near 12th Avenue South and E. Minnehaha Parkway.

According to Telly Mamayek, communications and education manager for Minnehaha Creek Watershed District (MCWD), it's the first reported ice jam on the creek since the rainfall started. 

"We also anticipated that we would have some ice jams on the creek because with ice still in the creek and rain falling, that ice was going to break up," Mamayek said. "They were able to remove it before any flooding happened."

Mamayek said crews are continuing to monitor Minnehaha Creek and are ready to respond if there is another ice jam. 

Spots along the creek are also experiencing flooding. According to Mamayek, they're seeing mild to moderate flooding. 

"There's 22 miles of Minnehaha Creek and five communities. Here in Minneapolis, the creek flows through park land and some of our other communities up stream of here, the creek flows through their backyards. So communities like Edina have homes that abut right to the creek and so they are facing some high water on their properties today," Mamayek said. 

The intersection of E. Minnehaha Parkway and Cedar Avenue S. experienced street flooding on Thursday. A few of the bike paths nearby were also covered in water. 

After major flooding in 2014, MCWD looked at how it could improve its response to flooding. That led to a partnership with NWS for specialized forecasts.

"We've been collecting specialized weather forecasts from the National Weather Service (NWS) that tells us just how much rain is going to fall in our watershed, just how much snowmelt we're going to have, and then we're able to plug that into a computer model and figure out where is the high water going to be," Mamayek said.  

After a wet few days, the snow melt is expected to slow down. 

Mamayek said, "This will dissipate over the next day or so and the good news is that we're going to dry out. There's no really meaningful precipitation that's in the forecast for the next week." 

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