It may not be the mighty Mississippi or the raging Red, but the "little river that could" will not be denied this year.
Of all the stories during this week of flood watching, the south fork of Crow River is the most interesting to me. Earlier this week the river was forecast to crest Wednesday at 15 feet in Mayer. That forecast has been updated as the week progressed, but the Crow had other ideas. As of Thursday morning the Crow River still has not crested at Mayer, and stands at a level of 16.03 feet.
This marks the 5th highest flood of record on the Crow at Mayer so far, just shy of the 16.05 ft on 04/07/1997. Here are the top 10 floods of record on the Crow at Mayer.
Historical Crests: Crow River at Mayer
(1) 19.23 ft on 04/13/1965
(2) 16.50 ft on 04/14/2001
(3) 16.48 ft on 04/11/1969
(4) 16.05 ft on 04/07/1997
(5) 16.02 ft on 3/18/2010** (so far)
(6) 16.00 ft on 06/23/1957
(7) 15.70 ft on 04/10/1952
(8) 13.93 ft on 05/04/1986
(9) 13.90 ft on 04/30/1975
(10) 13.76 ft on 04/05/1979
Deep snowpack feeds the Crow:
The main reason the Crow is defying forecasters this year lies in the deep snowpack that has bracketed the river's watershed this year. Some of the heaviest snow bands have fallen in the upper reaches of the south fork of the Crow River near Cosmos this winter. Looking at today's NOHRSC image below, you can still see some snow cover southeast of Willmar and east of Olivia in the upper Crow river watershed which includes Buffalo Creek.
The good news is the Crow will likely begin to fall in Mayer today or tomorrow. It remains to be seen how well the river behaves downstream in Watertown, Delano and Rockford.