Flooding and Closures


Flooding Reports and Closures

Updated October 17, 2018

The Minnesota River is on the rise again after last week's sustained rainfall.  Details of expected crest and impacts to the Refuge can be found below.

Longmeadow Lake Unit: Trail below the Bloomington Visitor Center beyond the Spur Trail to the Longmeadow Lake Trail is wet and muddy.  Areas of deep puddles and standing water remain within the forested sections of the trail, and nearest the river to Highway 77.  We ask for your help to keep bicycles off of the trail until it has time to dry out.

Wilkie Unit: Trail to Bloomington Ferry is CLOSED.  Hunters may still access Rice Lake, but must portage boats.   

Expect multiple closures and impassible trails as the Minnesota River is rising.  Some trails may be extremely muddy, and caution must be used when accessing. Cyclists are encouraged to wait until trails have sufficiently dried out before riding on muddy trails, which can cause damage and delay other repairs. 

Current gauge location information is as follows, and will be updated frequently:

SAVAGE GAUGE – currently at action stage
Current gauge level: 700.2 feet (+0.7 feet from yesterday)
Crest: 701.9 feet by Sunday, Oct. 21
When the Savage gauge reaches ...
700.5 feet -- expect flooding along Long Meadow Lake Trail just below the Bloomington Visitor Center (expected to occur today)
701 feet -- expect flooding at Wilkie State Corridor Trail at the Bloomington Ferry Bridge (expected to occur Thursday, Oct. 18)
701 feet -- expect flooding at the Black Dog Lake Observation Platform (expected to occur Thursday, Oct. 18)
701.5 feet -- expect flooding at Wilkie State Corridor Trail at the U.S. 169 Bridge/"Old County 18"  (expected to occur Friday, Oct. 19)
JORDAN GAUGE – currently at action stage
Current gauge level: 24.7 feet (+0.4 feet from yesterday)
Crest: 24.9 feet by Thursday, Oct. 18 (minor flood stage is 25 feet)
When the Jordan gauge reaches ... 
20 feet -- expect flooding along Middle Road (inundated)
21 feet -- expect flooding along the Chaska Trail (inundated)
22 feet -- expect flooding along Duck Lane (inundated)
22.5 feet -- expect flooding along the Mazomani East Trail (inundated)
23 feet -- expect flooding along the Rapids Lake Trail near the Rapids Lake Visitor Center (inundated)
HENDERSON GAUGE – currently at action stage and cresting 
Current gauge level: 731.0 feet (+no change feet from yesterday)
Crest: 731.0 feet, continuing through today

      Please remember: Flood conditions can be very dangerous and unpredictable. Please do not cross through flooded waters, turn around and find another route.  For river gauge information and current warnings, visit Weather.gov  

      Please note other ongoing closures on the following trails.  Additional closures may be announced at any time:

      • Long Meadow Lake Unit at Old Cedar Avenue: Closed for construction.  No public access.
      • Chaska Unit: Chaska Trail closed
      • Jabs Dike at Louisville Swamp Unit: Closed


      Below is a reference for impacts to Refuge trails based on monitored river gauge levels:  


      697 =  ACTION STAGE

      700.5 = Long Meadow Lake Trail (southeast of BEVC) 

      701 = Black Dog Lake observation platform 

      701 = Wilkie State Corridor Trail (at Bloomington Ferry Bridge)

      701.5 = Wilkie State Corridor Trail (under U.S. 169 Bridge)

      702 =  FLOOD STAGE (minor)  

      702.5 = Long Meadow Lake Trail water control structure

      702.5 = Minnesota Greenway (Black Dog segment)

      703 = Old Cedar Boardwalk

      704 = Lyndale Landing, south kiosk

      704.5 = Lyndale Landing parking lot

      704.5 = Jens Casperson Landing

      705.5 = Black Dog Lake Generating Plant 

      706 = Lyndale Landing, north kiosk 

      708 = Black Dog Lake parking lot

      710 =  FLOOD STAGE (moderate)  

      712 =  FLOOD STAGE (major)  

      712.5  = Old Cedar parking lot

      719.5 =  RECORD (1965)  


      15 = Jabs Dike

      18 =  ACTION STAGE   

      20 = Middle Road

      21 = Chaska Trail

      22 = Duck Lane

      22.5 = Mazomani East Trail

      23 = Rapids Lake Trail (at RLEVC)

      25 =  FLOOD STAGE (minor)  

      26.5 = Carver County 11/Scott County 9 bridge at Jordan closes

      28 =  FLOOD STAGE (moderate)   

      29.5 = Minnesota 41 bridge at Chaska closes

      34 =  FLOOD STAGE (major)  

      35 =  RECORD (1965)