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There wasn't much opportunity for recreation at these Empire Township fields along County Road 66. The fields, along with many areas along the Vermillion River, were flooded last week as spring thaws raised water levels.

In spring, rising waters are inevitable along the Vermillion

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In spring, rising waters are inevitable along the Vermillion
Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

Water spilling over the edges of Vermillion River, particularly around Rambling River Park, is just a fact of life in this spring in Farmington. It's certainly nothing that city engineer Kevin Schorzman gets too worked up over.


By the middle of last week, a swollen river spilled over the sides and spread water throughout much of central Farmington, as well as parts of Empire Township. By Monday of this week, most of the water levels had dropped and all that was left was soggy ground.

That didn't come as much of a surprise to Schorzman. He'd been watching the water levels every day, checking out the standing water along portions of County Road 66 in Empire Township as he drove in to work every day. A water gauge near Highway 52 showed water levels there at 7 1/4 feet one day last week, then 6 1/4 feet less than two days later.

"We keep an eye on the places where we see water," he said. "Over on Spruce Street and Denmark, the water was up over the road for a little bit there, so we marked it off. That drain there goes into the river."

Other than that, he said, there was nothing out of the ordinary about this year's thaw. In fact, Farmington is almost at an advantage when it comes to the water table. Because the community near the Vermillion River is flat, water has room to spread out, reducing how high the river gets. That's different than the Mississippi River, where all of the water is held within a channel and has nowhere to spread out and instead, simply rises until it floods over the shoreline.

Though several backyard buildings along Elm Street were surrounded by water, Schorzman said he had not gotten any calls from residents with water in their homes.

"If people do notice things as a result of the snow melt, I would encourage them to bring it to my attention," he said. "We'll be more than happy to look at it. What you do with events like this is that you learn from them."

Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and is the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
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