Photo courtesy of the Kanabec County Sheriff's Office.
MORA, Minn. (KMSP) - Heavy rain Thursday morning is causing flooding in Mora, Minnesota north of the Twin Cities.
Four to seven inches of rain fell across northeast Mille Lacs and northern Kanabec Counties between 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. The National Weather Service reported the Snake River in Mora rose nearly four feet and local law enforcement closed several roads in the city due to high water.
On the north end of Mora, Brian Winger is paying close attention to the rushing water. When asked about his biggest concern, he said, "The remodel job on the house being flooded in."
Typically, the creek running through Winger's backyard is peaceful, flowing into the nearby Snake River. On Thursday, it was pouring over nearby County Road 76 and Winger had plans to reinforce the berm protecting his home.
"We tell the kids to stay away from the water," he said. "The youngest kept going on that we can't go to work or daycare because we'd be flooded out today. She was very persistent that we should not leave."
Across town, a popular playground morphed into something of a water park after the massive rainfall.
The fire danger may be low because of the storm, but flash flooding is a major concern along the Snake and its tributaries.
Coincidentally, it was two years ago to the day, July 12, that the Mora area rushed to sandbag after a major storm that they thought was a generational-type event. But those who rolled up their sleeves that day are ready to do it again if the water doesn't stop rising.
"You never get used to flood situations," said Bob Jensen of the Mora Fire Department. "Two years ago, for three days, it was amazing, people came and helped sandbag, put it on Facebook, our community is pretty strong. Whenever people are in trouble, they come and help."
The Kanabec County Sheriff's Office is reminding people not to drive through flooded roads. Numerous vehicles stalled out sitting in water Thursday morning. For boaters, no wake zones will be enforced across all county lakes.
The Sheriff's Office is also directing all sandbag requests to the volunteer hotline at 320-679-6417. Residents that suffered any structural property damage as a result of today's flooding should contact the County Assessor's Office at 320-679-6420 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers have also been directed to the Kanabec County Highway Department off of Howe Avenue to bag sand or transport sandbags.