Flooding on Green Lake is addressed

The Isanti County Board on May 7 discussed the recent flooding issue on Green Lake in Wyanett Township, where the sheriff’s office posted a temporary “no wake zone” last week.

Mari Bostrom, director of Isanti County Homeland Security and Emergency Management, joined Chief Deputy Sheriff Chris Caulk in enlightening commissioners on their recent visit with residents around the lake.

Isanti County Safety and Rescue recently posted buoys signifying a no-wake zone on Green Lake. The water levels at the flood control gates were dropping at the time, so the water started to flow out of the lake. Photos by Chris Caulk, chief deputy, Isanti County Sheriff’s Office

Isanti County Safety and Rescue recently posted buoys signifying a no-wake zone on Green Lake. The water levels at the flood control gates were dropping at the time, so the water started to flow out of the lake.
Photos by Chris Caulk, chief deputy,
Isanti County Sheriff’s Office

“We determined it was a nerve-wracking situation,” said Caulk, noting the high waters there affected yards and even homes, at times, with waves caused by boaters. “We gave them information and took the time to listen, but we told them we can’t control Mother Nature.”

Bostrom said policy allows her to provide residents with a list of companies and resources such as sandbagging.

“And I can help coordinate volunteer efforts,” she added.

Last week, lake residents were concerned with the effects of increased boating traffic caused by the fishing opener. In addition to sandbagging, flood gates were discussed as a possible remedy, since the flood water appeared to be receding enough for it to re-enter the lake.

Still, commissioners were posed with the question: At what point does the county respond or help those townships that do not have the resources? They discussed a possible ordinance to address no-wake zones, but there wasn’t a clear consensus on enforcing such a measure countywide or by posting signs.

Commissioners agreed to revisit the issue as early as the next board meeting and look at establishing an ordinance that could be enforced during times of emergency.

Addressing the high water levels on area lakes in a press release last week, the sheriff’s office acknowledged the no-wake zone on Green Lake and asked all boaters to use caution and slow speeds with last weekend’s fishing opener.

According to the release:

One of the main dangers of high water in lakes and rivers is the obstacles that were once visible may now be just under the surface, posing a danger to people jumping in the lake and boaters who may hit them, causing damage and possible injury.

High water levels also increase shoreline erosion and may contribute to flooding of homes that are at lake level.  This is the problem on Green Lake. Several homes are in jeopardy of being flooded, so the temporary “no wake zone” was posted.

All lakeshore homeowners are advised to have a plan in place should localized flooding occur. Know where to acquire sandbags and large capacity pumps if needed. Isanti County will not provide these unless a major disaster is declared. What is occurring now is localized flooding.

Flood1“The waters appear to have been receding, and we are continually monitoring this. The water seems much higher than in past years, with some Green Lake area residents saying that they have not seen high water like this in 20 years.”

Once people start getting out on the area lakes, remember to wear personal flotation devices and have one for each person in the watercraft. Children under age 10 are required by law to wear a personal flotation devices while in a watercraft. The river holds special dangers due to swift and unpredictable currents. Also obey all boating rules and be courteous and respect the people who live on the lake.

Visit www.dnr.state.mn.us for more information on boating safety.

“The Sheriff’s Office will also again be out patrolling area lakes and rivers this season, with licensed deputies being on patrol,” the release said.

In other action, the board:

  • Approved the low bid of $829,877 from Knife River Corp. to reconstruct and pave the gravel shoulders on the portion of County Road 45 that leads to the school and Mud Lake, from 16th to County Road 43, this summer. The bid is about 2 percent over the engineer’s estimate.
  • Approved the Isanti County Parks Commission to enter into an agreement with the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota. The agreement reflects the county’s commitment to purchase the Regan and Lood properties, which border Becklin Homestead County Park and Wildlife Management Area, from the council when funds become available.
  • Accepted new interim Public Health Director Donna Humphrey. She temporarily replaces Kathy Minkler, who is retiring.
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