Early Wednesday evening along the banks of the Cannon River in Faribault, rain clouds build to the west.
FARIBAULT HOLDS ITS COLLECTIVE breath Wednesday evening as grey clouds hang heavy over this southeastern Minnesota city, once again threatening rain.
Co-honorary parade grand marshal Roy Anderson addresses the crowd at the opening of Heritage Days.
At Central Park, where the annual Heritage Days celebration kicks off with an opening ceremony, Mayor John Jasinski cuts short his welcome. He’s got more serious matters on his mind—tending to a community where a State of Emergency was declared Wednesday morning.
The rising Cannon River along Second Avenue nearly skims the bridge. Faribault Foods is in the background and the Faribault Woolen Mill is to the right. This is near the Rice County Fairgrounds along a major roadway through the city.
The waters of the Straight and Cannon rivers, which run through town, are rising. And the city is preparing for possible flooding, with reminders of the September 2010 flash flood ever present.
Sandbags have been placed in the mill parking lot next to the Cannon River.
At the Faribault Woolen Mill, Heritage Days tours have been canceled with the focus instead on sandbagging and protecting the historic building that sits along the Cannon River.
Photographing the rising Cannon River. The dam here is no longer visible. Typically, the river does flow against the rear of the mill.
Locals flock to Father Slevin Park, next to the Cannon, next to the Woolen Mill, Wednesday evening to photograph the scene. The Cannon River dam is no longer visible.
Sandbags protect the Faribault Woolen Mill from the rising Cannon River.
Sandbags hold down a pipe at the Faribault Woolen Mill factory and retail store.
An overview of the Cannon River, looking southeast from Father Slevin Park to the Faribault Woolen Mill and Faribault Foods.
Several layers of sandbags rim the parking lot next to the factory store.
Sandbags also protect Faribault Foods.
Straight River floodwaters block access to a Faribault Foods loading dock.
Sandbags border the door to bean receiving at Faribault Foods.
Directly across Second Avenue, sandbags likewise protect Faribault Foods. Behind the canning company, the rising Straight River has already blocked access to loading docks. Other doors are also barricaded with plastic-covered sandbags.
Working to protect the city’s wastewater plant, which sits along the Straight River.
The entry to the city’s treatment plant.
Just down the road, at the city’s wastewater treatment plant, a steady flow of dump trucks enter and exit the facility, presumably delivering sand. Sandbags are already in place here.
Near the Faribault American Legion, just a block off the historic downtown, workers shovel sand into bags at the city’s sandbag central. Road closed signs are at the ready.
The Straight River has flooded Teepee Tonka Park and churns here toward the Highway 60 viaduct connecting the east and west sides of Faribault.
Flooded Teepee Tonka Park.
Across the Straight River in Teepee Tonka Park, the bridge into the park is blocked and the river rushes in a frenzy.
The bridge into Teepee Tonka Park is partially flooded and thus closed.
Onlookers step across police tape to photograph the scene—until the cops cruise up and advise that “the tape is there for a reason.” They don’t want anyone tumbling into the muddy, raging waters.
Police arrive to check out the situation at Teepee Tonka Park.
Darkness falls and Faribault waits.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling