SNOW LAYERS farm fields.
In the shade of yards and groves and northern hillsides, snow banks remain, reminders of a long Minnesota winter not yet over.
Snow shoved from a once-drifted Minnesota State Highway 19 appears like wind-sculpted waves frozen in place just west of Redwood Falls.
In Redwood, the Redwood River appears mostly iced-over.
But outside of town, snow melt floods fields, settles in low-lying areas. Frozen tile and frozen ground allow no outlet for all that water. Farm sites seem temporary lakeside properties.
Ditches brim with water.
A survey of the countryside while driving from Faribault to Belview and back Saturday presents a perspective on the flooding and potential flooding in southern Minnesota. Not until Randy and I drove northwest out of Morgan did we begin to really notice the difference. Our observations of significant remaining snow pack and already ponding water visually confirms the reason for a flood warning in my native Redwood County.
There’s a lot of snow yet to melt, especially west of Redwood Falls. That water must go somewhere since it can’t soak into the frozen soil. And that somewhere is likely into the Redwood River, which feeds into the Minnesota River, which feeds into the Mississippi River. What happens in rural southwestern Minnesota will eventually affect the Twin Cities metro.
Temps and precipitation will factor into the flooding equation, too, as winter transitions into spring. I will tell you that Redwood County, on Saturday, seemed still stuck in the final days of winter.
© Copyright 2019 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
It is a sloppy mess out there; cannot wait for things to dry out.
I think everyone feels the same, Dan. Good to hear from you. I need to pop over and see what you’ve been photographing.
Audrey- this is a great update and compared to North of the cities you guys are slammed. I flew in on Friday and I could see tons of water standing in fields. The warm temps yesterday started streams here in Carlton County to run high but they didn’t get nearly the snow that you guys did. Sadly my kayak is staying in storage, fishing gear came out but unless we have 3 more weeks of temps like yesterday I am thinking trout season in Whitewater State Park maybe will be cancelled. I should have brought tulips…
Tulips would have been great.
Don’t give up on trout fishing. Lots can change in three weeks. And remember that these photos are from southWESTERN, not southEASTERN Minnesota. Around here, fields are mostly clear of snow and the melt seems more advanced. That said, I can’t speak to the Whitewater area.
Welcome home! I hope you have an enjoyable visit.
Thanks Audrey- and you are right a lot can happen in three weeks.
So much HAS changed in the past couple weeks! I am so glad and my back is too! It was so difficult trying to drive on gravel roads that were more like miles long muddy puddles. Sometimes all the faster I could drive was 20-25 mph, and that in 4 wheel drive while trying to keep it on the road. Thankfully our area has lost most of the snow and those gravel roads have mostly dried enough to grade. I recognized the farm photo from east of Courtland and just north of our church! My niece from the New Richland area was home to Courtland this weekend and said they have more snow than here. Our frost must be out around our house as the sump pump has started running more regularly the last couple days. All we have left is the bigger piles of snow in our yard. Did you drive by on your way west?
We definitely noticed lots less snow in your area and way more in Redwood County.
I’m glad that gravel roads are drying. I can only imagine the challenges of driving your rural mail route.
We now take I-35 south to Owatonna and get on US Highway 14 to New Ulm, then take CR 29 and Hwy 67 to Morgan and then Redwood Falls before picking up Hwy 19.
In the past, before the four-lane opened between Owatonna and Waseca, we drove through towns like Le Center and St. Peter and would have taken the road past your place into Nicollet. We’re usually just doing a day trip, so the quicker the drive, the better.
I had thought maybe you would head north to Hwy 19 right away being you end up on it but on 4 lanes you don’t have to slow down for all the little towns in between. If they finally fund 4 lanes from Nicollet to New Ulm your trip will be even faster! Of course first there’d be detours!! Hwy 99 has aweful potholes, so just as well you don’t drive it.
Faster is the reason we take the route we do to Belview. It’s a day trip, so we spend 5 hours in a vehicle round trip.
The bridge is closed at St. Peter right now. That was the route we always followed in the past, right by your place, until the Highway 14 expansion. I can’t wait until 14 is a four-lane between Nicollet and New Ulm. That can’t happen soon enough. The condition of the road is really deteriorating. But most of all, so much traffic on a narrow roadway.
[…] On The Road: A Look At Redwood County Flooding & Snow Pack (Minnesota Prairie […]
The snow is enough and can cause damage and then to have flooding on top of it is not good. Ready for the sun to come out and just dry it up. Be Safe and Take Care 🙂
Lots of flooding potential remains.
But, hey, I hung out laundry this morning, a sure sign of spring’s arrival. Randy shoveled snow from the patio first so I could do that. Post forthcoming.
That is a GOOD sign. Funny that you had to shovel beforehand though – ha!
I know. A lot of snow ended up on our patio this winter from shoveling snow off the house and garage roofs. My removable clothesline strings across the patio.
I have wondered if clotheslines are a Midwest thing or not. When we lived Out West between the wind and the dust you would not want to hang clothes outside. Down here with the humidity you may just smell like you are wet and maybe even a little like mildew.
That’s an interesting observation.
Still a ton of snow cover with a sloppy mess yet to come. It’s been a winter to remember
It definitely has been a winter to remember. Do you have any flooding issues in your area?
Not right in my town but outside of city limits and especially in the surrounding counties. They have had flooding with very tragic circumstances. Heartbreaking
I am so sorry. Be safe, my friend. The same for your family, neighbor and friends.
Thank you! You too