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Reporters: Do you want to accompany a USGS field crew as they measure flooding? Please contact Jennifer LaVista or James Fallon.  

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring flooding across eastern Minnesota, including parts of the Lake Superior and Rainy River Basins. The flooding is due to heavy rainfall on already saturated soils, with up to 6 inches of rain falling in some areas earlier this week.


USGS water data expert Garret Welsh measures water flow in the pouring rain at the Straight River near Faribault, Minnesota.

USGS real-time maps of flood and high flow conditions for Minnesota may be accessed using the USGS National Water Dashboard. 

Today, 10 USGS water data experts are out in the field monitoring the floodwaters and collecting water-quality samples. Currently, nineteen streamgages are above flood levels as determined by the National Weather Service. Up to five inches of additional rain is forecast for southern Minnesota through Saturday, potentially exacerbating flood conditions. 

This information is critical for resource managers and emergency responders to help protect life and property. These data are used by the National Weather Service to develop flood forecasts, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to manage flood control, and by county flood control districts and other state and local agencies in their flood response activities. 

There are about 110 USGS-operated streamgages in Minnesota that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous flood measurements to verify the data USGS provides to federal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public. 

For more than 130 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities. 

Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS National Water Dashboard. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert.  

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