Paddlers still advised to keep off Minnehaha Creek

Following torrential rains earlier this summer, Minnehaha Creek is still unsafe for paddlers.

The creek is currently flowing at a rate more than twice as fast as what’s recommended for safe canoeing or kayaking, said Telly Mamayek, communications director for the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District, so officials are advising people to stay off the water.

“We are having a heck of a time getting the water level down,” Mamayek said.

At the Gray’s Bay Dam, water was flowing from Lake Minnetonka into the creek at a rate of 352 cubic feet of water per second, she said, greatly exceeding the safe paddling rate of 75-150 cubic feet per second.

The dam can handle water levels of up to 930 feet on Lake Minnetonka before it begins “emergency overflow,” but the water level as of Friday was 930.58 feet, according to data from the watershed district.

Current estimates say the water level will dip below 930 feet by the end of July, Mamayek said. Still, she stressed that estimate could change and it’ll be a “waiting game” until the water levels get to a point the dam can manage.