Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Flooding in Faribault September 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:42 PM
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Sometime between 6 - 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Second Avenue N.W. in Faribault, where it crosses the Cannon River, was closed. Two dams are located next to this stretch of now flooded roadway.

“AREN’T YOU GLAD it isn’t snow?” my husband asks as I review his summary of rain gauge totals from our backyard in southern Faribault:

  • 2.7 inches from 6 p.m. Sept. 22 to 8 a.m. Sept. 23
  • 1.6 inches from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sept. 23
  • Plus whatever rain fell before 6 p.m. Sept. 22, an estimated 1 – 1 ½ inches

We are swimming in water here and the rain continues to fall.

Earlier this evening we toured the town—yes, we were gawkers—and found swollen rivers and closed roads. Four-lane Second Avenue N.W., as it crosses the Cannon River, was flooded with four inches of water and down to two lanes when Randy drove across the bridge around 6 p.m. A half hour later, officials had closed the street.

Near the blocked road and behind the former Faribo Woolen Mill, we met a homeowner in hip waders waiting for the city to deliver sandbags to his riverside home. His property hadn’t flooded yet, but he was worried. He’s lived there since 1985 and never seen the river so high, he says.

Nor have we. Randy has lived here for 32 years. I’ve been here for 28.

Standing atop a bridge on the north end of Faribault, I snapped images of the rushing Straight River. Even from the safety of the road, I felt unsettled, watching as the muddy waters churned and roiled and rushed away, edging away from the constraints of the rain-logged banks.

The rain is expected to continue into Friday.

A view of the raging Straight River from a bridge on the north end of Faribault.

Second Avenue N.W., which crosses the Cannon River, was blocked at Faribault Foods.

The Straight River spilled over its banks into a parking lot and loading dock area at Faribault Foods.

The Cannon River overflowed its banks behind the former Faribo Woolen Mill. Next door, to the left in this photo, a homeowner awaited sandbags to protect his home.

In South Alexander Park, the Cannon River spilled onto park land.

Along Ravine Street, crews kept a watchful eye on the Straight River.

Flood waters caused the closing of a portion of Heritage Place at Heritage Park.

Officials closed flooded TeePee Tonka Park near the Straight River viaduct in the central part of Faribault.

The Straight River on the north end of Faribault continues to rise.


Most of these photos were taken through the windows of a car in fading daylight.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


2 Responses to “Flooding in Faribault”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Wow. I’m going to have to check on my people!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      The county road just south of where your mom lives was/has been closed. I’m posting more images shortly.

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