St. Croix River flood update: Crest passes Stillwater, no-wake forecast promising

A recent rainstorm spiked the water levels, but the week ahead should give the river time to recede.




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A raging unnamed creek that flows into the Snake River near Grasston, Minn. on Thursday, July 12. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

The recent recent high water due to extreme rainfall last week near Mora, Minn. will soon flow down and out of the St. Croix. The Mora airport received more than 6.5 inches of rain in a few hours. Governor Mark Dayton is touring the damage today.

Now, at most of the river gages between Mora and Stillwater, the water is dropping after peaking sharply over the weekend.

In Stillwater, which is hosting its annual Lumberjack Days festival this coming weekend, the National Weather Service predicts a close but promising water level by Friday.


In Mora, after the Snake River shot up 12 feet in two days, the water started to drop on Saturday and has receded a few feet since then.

River gage for Mora

Pine City

Downstream, the top of the wall of water is still to come. The Weather Service predicts the river will crest Monday.

Pine City gage

St. Croix Falls

On the St. Croix proper at St. Croix Falls, the river plateaued today at 17,800 cfs. It is now starting to slowly drop.

St. Croix Falls gage


Photo courtesy Lumberjack Days

This weekend is Stillwater’s annual Lumberjack Days festival, much of which takes place right along the river in Lowell Park. There will be log-rolling, free music (including the Jayhawks on Saturday evening), a downhill derby, a parade, and much more.

By the time things kick off on Friday, the river should be a couple feet lower than it is now.

It could also be a good weekend for boaters, who have been frustrated by near constant high water so far this summer. The forecast calls for the river to drop below 683′ on Friday at 1 p.m.

The timing and the water levels make it a squeaker. Of course there’s a margin of error, so check levels closely before deciding to open up the throttle.


At the mouth of the St. Croix, the river appears to just be cresting.

Prescott river gage

Parts of the Mississippi River watershed have also been hit with a lot of rain lately, and when the Mississippi is high, it can slow down water flow out of the St. Croix.


Not only is the heat supposed to break this week, the atmosphere should also get drier.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for clear and sunny for the first half, and “soaking rain” during the second half.

While parts of the St. Croix watershed may get up to 3 inches Wednesday to Friday, it will be half of what hit Mora last week, and over three days, not three hours.

Meanwhile, the long-range forecast calls for next weekend to be sunny with highs around 80 degrees.

National Weather Service forecast for rain amounts the second half of this week.


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St. Croix River flood update: Crest passes Stillwater, no-wake forecast promising