Rainy Lake levels off, but more heavy rain falls in watershed
It appears that the level of Rainy Lake along the U.S.-Canadian border near International Falls leveled off this weekend after weeks of rising from record rainfall.
But storms on Saturday dropped heavy rain on parts of the lake’s watershed, which could have an effect on water levels on coming days.
Rainy Lake’s water level was 1,111.3 feet above sea level on Saturday, about 3½ feet above its target level for this time of year. That’s down from 1,111.4 feet on Wednesday, according to data from the International Rainy-Lake of the Woods Watershed Board, which monitors water levels along the border.
The high water — the highest seen on Rainy Lake since 1950 — sparked a massive sandbagging operation last month to protect homes, cabins and resorts along the lake. Resorts have had to weigh down their docks to keep them from floating away, though fishing and other business has continued with a few adjustments.
After several days of mostly dry weather, the vast Rainy Lake watershed — which includes Lake Kabetogama, Namakan Lake and Crane Lake — saw some very heavy rain on Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Crane Lake and points east on Saturday afternoon after radar estimates of storms dropping in excess of 4 inches of rain.
- St. Louis County on Friday lifted a no-wake-zone order that had been in place for Lake Kabetogama. The order was put into place last month to protect sandbag dikes, but officials said the water on Lake Kabetogama has receded enough so that boaters can resume normal speeds on the lake.