There has been much talk this 2011 spring about this being a record breaking flood year so I thought I would post a graph from our friends at NOAA. The Corp. of Engineers maintain a river gauge near the Lake City Marina, which is on Lake Pepin on the Minnesota side of the river. This is also where we sail our Islander 28 sailboat. Some of the predictions from NOAA put the flood levels over the main highway which passes Hansen’s Harbor. This would mean our beloved boat would float off her cradle and head south, not good. Fortunately for us our boat is still at Hooper’s Yachts whom we purchased her through so she will be fine this spring. I’m worried about our friends who do have their boats at the marina however. Yikes! The other thing I’m concerned about is that there is still about 22 inches of ice at river mile 769, as of March 17, (see ice graph on upper left side of web page) which is about 7nm from our harbor and 10nm from the foot of Lake Pepin which could lead to some interesting ice jams if the river keeps rising as predicted.

You can see how much more narrow the river gets at the foot of Lake Pepin in the screen shot at the bottom of this post. That’s a lot of ice to scrunch its way down stream in such a small area. The screen shot, by the way comes from the charting software, OpenCPN, which I plan on putting through its paces this summer. It runs on a laptop with a GPS mouse for chartplotter, GPS navigation and much more.

This NOAA graph will update itself with the latest readings whenever NOAA updates, so if you come back to the site you will see the current river level at the Lake City, MN river gauge. Check daily to get the latest information.

The blue marks on the graph indicate observed levels and the green marks indicate predicted levels for the upcoming seven days. Last October the river was about four feet above flood stage when we took our old boat out for the season and to sell. It was a messy affair with all the debris and whatnot floating about the loading ramp. Ick! Even as I’ve been working on this article the river has risen 2/5ths of an inch in just two hours.

Click for Current daily hydrologic graph

Flood stage graph courtesy of NOAA

Screen shot from OpenCPN Lake Pepin(Pool 4 Mississippi River)

Screen shot from OpenCPN Lake Pepin(Pool 4 Mississippi River)