High water levels spark concern

AUSTIN, Minn. – Rivers and lakes in our area are running high and running fast, and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials say heavy rain is to blame.

DNR officials say that open bodies of water can be dangerous at any level, but they are sending out a warning to folks in our area to be extra cautious around lakes and rivers when levels are this high.

High waters can not only be dangerous, but they can be damaging as well, which is why  Austin Mayor, Tom Stiehm has been working with city officials for the past couple of years to protect homes and businesses from the unpredictable conditions.

So far this season, Steihm says, water levels have not been an issue in Austin and he is attributing this to the extensive amount of work they accomplished over the years.

“Our last flood was our second highest level we’ve ever had,” he says, “but it was our second lowest amount of damage because of all the projects we’ve done.”

He says that it does not even need to be a rainy season in Austin to have issues with flooding, and that all depends on what is happening upstream in other parts of the state.

Final touches to their flood prevention project are almost complete, and Steihm says that he believes the new Main Street layout on the south side of town will be helpful in keeping the area out of harms way.

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