Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

River levels fall as drought worsens throughout Minnesota


Brian Peterson - Star Tribune

The low water level at the Osceola Landing along the St. Croix was evident. Water levels in rivers, lakes and creeks were falling as Minnesota headed deeper into extreme drought with another week of hot weather.

Parts of the St. Croix River are nearly impassable to boaters as water levels have fallen below launches and landings, exposing boulders, sandbars and other hazards. So much of the riverbed has been revealed during the drought that the National Park Service is warning people not to take or disturb historic artifacts, such as old logging tools, that may become visible for the first time in a century.

"We don't know of anything that has been found yet," said Julie Galonska, superintendent of the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. "But we know from past years that there are many different things found in a river, some from 100 years ago, and we have to leave them in place."

The water in rivers and lakes throughout Minnesota continued to fall in July as the drought worsened and spread. Extreme drought, defined as causing major crop losses and widespread water restrictions, has engulfed nearly 20% of the state. Much of the rest of Minnesota has fallen into severe drought, meaning crop losses and water restrictions are likely.


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