The Mill Towns Trail between Northfield and Dundas is navigable, if you’re not a pussy

Armstrong Road between Northfield and Dundas is still closed from the July 13 flooding (Flooding wipes out Mill Towns Trail bridge, slices Armstrong Road, undermines railroad bed) and it could be months before it reopens.  Likewise, the Mill Towns Trail.

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But there’s a way around, as I discovered last night. From Northfield, just ride your bike through the compost facility

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all the way to the back till you arrive at the big rocks by the reconstructed railroad tracks. Then…

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you can ride on the tracks a few yards till you get past Spring Creek. The small rocks in between the rails make it pretty level. Alternately, if you’ve got good balance like Danny MacAskill, you can just ride on one of the rails like he does here. Smooooooooth. Then…

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ride down the larger rocks (pick your line carefully) and you’ll see the trail a few yards away. Piece ‘o cake.

[Footnote: Does my blog title offend you?  It shouldn't. Remember when the word 'sucks' was offensive? If not, read this. Then see this Atlantic Wire article: Free Pussy Riot: When 'Vulgar' Words Become Acceptable.]

Flooding wipes out Mill Towns Trail bridge, slices Armstrong Road, undermines railroad bed

Another (100-year?) rainfall ‘event’ has brought me out of my blogging hiatus.

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I took these photos early this afternoon on Armstrong Road near the Northfield compost facility where runoff from this morning’s torrential rainfall cut through the road, washed away the Mill Towns Trail bridge, and completely undermined the railroad bed.

More photos to come? Probably.

Update 7 am, July 14:

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More photos to show the size of the washout on Armstrong Road.

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A construction crew evidently arrived yesterday and has begun work on the railroad bridge.

Update July 18:  A few more of my flooding-related photos below. See Rob Hardy’s comprehensive listing of links related to the flooding on Northfield.org.

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Photo album: receding high water ice formations

The below-freezing temps and receding high water on the Cannon River created some interesting ice formations this week in downtown Northfield, both above the Ames Mill dam and north of the 2nd St. bridge.

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Most of the photos are macro shots, with the ones above among my favorites that show something of Northfield in the background.

See the album of 120 photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or this small slideshow:

Dr. Hvisty’s flood markers

Froggy Bottoms David Hvistendahl, Froggy Bottoms high water mark 4th St. bridge, Northfield
David Hvistendahl showed me the high water mark from last September inside Froggy Bottoms this morning when the pub was destroyed.  We’ve got a long way to go to beat that.  David said that hydrostatic pressure starts forcing water up from the floor when the Cannon River tops the orange ‘danger’ sign on the 4th St. bridge. We’re getting close to that.

Like last fall, I’m continuing to add photos to the same photo album, in this case Spring flooding 2011.

Remnants of the flood: a bridge to nowhere

Remnants of the Lower Arb footbridgeA bridge to nowhere in the Lower ArbFlood debris in Spring CreekThe sands of Laird Field

While walking in the Lower Arb on Wednesday (a balmy 68 degrees, so long ago), I noticed that the footbridge at the west end of the tennis courts that crosses over Spring Creek just before it empties into the Cannon River was washed out in the flood.  If you’re up for a balance challenge, though, you can still get across on the wiggly wobbly (heh) iron bars.

There are other scars to view, too.

Flooding post-mortem: What went right, what went wrong, and what can be learned for next time?

Friday, 8:26 am: Mayor Mary Rossing, City Administrator Tim Madigan, Councilor Jim Pokorney Friday, 10:27 am: Former City Admin Pete Stolley, City Engineer Katy Gehler, Mayor Mary Rossing, Deputy Police Chief Chuck Walerius, Friday 10:42 am, West side sandbagging Friday 7:45 pm, West side sandbagging

As some people have noted in the comment thread attached to my photo album blog post, there were a lot of smiles to be seen Friday and Saturday as citizens and students joined with community leaders and City of Northfield staff to take on the high water.

But it also appears that some things did not go well, and not just because of the power of Mother Nature.

So let’s tease out the good, the bad, and the ugly of how this ‘event’ was handled so that when the next big one occurs, we’re even more prepared.

Photo album/video: Carp, um, rescued from downtown Riverwalk

Stephanie Schmidt, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Studies & Biology at St. Olaf, alerted me to today’s late morning effort to remove the fish that got trapped in downtown’s Riverwalk during the flooding.

Many of the trapped fish are carp, which are non-native and generally nasty fish for our waters.  We’re unsure of what else has escaped to the calmer waters. It will be interesting to see. Anyway, if we end up moving fish, it might be a neat opportunity for you to get some more photos.  Some of these carp are monsters.

Stephanie was prepared to use a ‘barge shocker’ but nets were enough to do the job.

I’ll have a short video of the operation later today but in the meantime, see my album of 18 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow. Continue reading Photo album/video: Carp, um, rescued from downtown Riverwalk

Photo album: aerial view of flooding

Robbie and I got of tour of the flooded area from the air yesterday afternoon, courtesy of Northfielder and Delta pilot Mark Carson and his wife Alice.  Mark’s dad, Phil, flew his plane up from Iowa to the Faribault airport, where the four of us then took off with Mark at the controls. We then spent about an hour zooming above Northfield and Dundas.

I have a couple hundred photos and some video but for now, see the album of 18 photos (photos of downtown, Carleton’s Laird Field, the Waterford bridges, and Memorial Field in Dundas), the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Continue reading Photo album: aerial view of flooding

Let the sandbagging begin: heavy rains saturate the area

Jake and Dave Hvistendahl Froggy Bottoms sandbag team
The soggy Froggy Bottoms boys, led by Jake and Dave Hvistendahl, are sandbagging today, as heavy rains overnight and throughout the morning hours have pushed the Cannon River over its banks along the Riverwalk in downtown Northfield.

See the album of 10 24 65 165 222 278 286 307 324 345 370 379 397 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Continue reading Let the sandbagging begin: heavy rains saturate the area

Cannon River floodwaters: no contest compared to 2004

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I saw a guy wading hip deep across the floodwaters at the footbridge below the Hwy 19 Lyman Lakes dam yesterday afternoon. Alas, I didn’t get there in time to take his photo. The ‘lake’ is covering most of Laird Field.

For a comparison of this year’s high water on the Cannon River, see the June 2004 floodwaters album, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Continue reading Cannon River floodwaters: no contest compared to 2004

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