Spring Lake Dam Removal
October 21, 2014
The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District received a permit by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on July 24 to add a restriction to the Spring Lake weir to assist with downstream flooding on Prior Lake. Four boards were placed on the weir on July 25. The DNR permit required the District to remove the logs once the water level of Prior Lake reached 903.0. On August 18, three of the four boards were removed and one board was left to minimize the impact downstream and to continue to allow water to flow down the stream. Since water flowage has now ceased, the fourth board was removed Monday, October 20th. For more information, please contact the District at 952-447-4166.
Boards from Spring Lake Dam Removed
August 18, 2014
The Department of Natural Resources permitted the Watershed District to dam the creek until Prior Lake reached an elevation of 903.0. That elevation has been reached, so 3 boards have been removed.
The fourth board will be removed at a later time.
Slow No-Wake to be Lifted Today, August 11th at 5:00 PM
August 11, 2014
Temporary, lake-wide, slow no-wake restrictions will be lifted on Prior Lake because it has been below an elevation of 903.5 for three consecutive days.
Spring Lake No Wake Update
August 1, 2014
Both the City and Township voted to modify the previous lake-wide temporary slow no-wake restriction for Spring Lake. As of August 1, 2014, areas within 150 feet of the shoreline are still under slow no-wake restrictions. These restrictions will be lifted on August 14, 2014, or when the temporary Spring Lake outlet dam is removed. The rest of the lake is not under slow no-wake restrictions.
Scott County Included in National Disaster Declaration
August 1, 2014
Twenty Four counties and two tribal governments have been added to the eight counties in Minnesota earlier declared disaster areas by the federal government due to extensive flooding. It is expected that Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) inspectors will meet with the Watershed District and our partners in early August. This is phase 2 of a process to apply for federal funds to help pay for public infrastructure damages due to the flood.
Spring Lake No Wake Update
July 29, 2014
The Prior Lake City Council took action to approve the removal of the No Wake restrictions on Spring Lake except within 150 feet of the shoreline. The Spring Lake Township Board will consider the same action at a special Board meeting on Friday morning. If the Township Board adopts the same resolution, the Spring Lake No Wake restriction (except for within 150 feet of the shoreline) will be removed immediately on Friday.
District Completes Weir Restriction Installation
July 27, 2014
The City of Prior Lake’s maintenance crew installed 4, 6×16” large timbers to the height of the channel wall or 911.7 feet on Friday, July 25.
Meeting with Residents
July 25, 2014
The City of Prior Lake held a meeting with residents on July 25 to discuss flooding issues and clean-up. To see a copy of the PowerPoint presentation presented by Katy Gehler, Public Works/Natural Resources Director, click here.
District Receives Permit to Restrict Flow from Spring Lake
July 24, 2014
The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District received a permit by the Department of Natural Resources on July 24 to add a restriction to the Spring Lake weir to assist with downstream flooding on Prior Lake. Logs are easier to install and more effective then sandbags for this purpose and they will be placed on the weir on July 25. In order to prevent potential flooding to Spring Lake homes, the restriction will be removed when rain events bring the level of Spring Lake to 912.4 feet or when the water level of Prior Lake reaches 903.0.
Slow No-Wake Boating Restrictions
The slow-no-wake restrictions are intended to reduce shoreline erosion due to boat wakes during high water (flood) events. Prolonged flood conditions saturate the shoreline soils, increasing the potential for erosion and property damage due to waves from watercraft.
Upper and Lower Prior Lake
Under existing city code, the City Manager is authorized to enact the slow-no-wake restriction when the water level in Upper and Lower Prior Lakes exceeds 904 ft (above sea level). Lake measurements are provided by the Prior Lake-Spring Lake Watershed District.
- The restriction remains in place until water level falls below 904 ft for three (3) consecutive days
- Due to the prolonged flood conditions and saturated shoreline soils, MN DNR has provided the city the authority to put in place a further temporary slow-no-wake restriction.
- The temporary slow-no-wake restriction will be put in place as soon as the city’s no-wake restriction ends as described above.
- The DNR temporary no-wake restriction will continue for 30 days beyond the end of the city restriction or until the water level drops below 903.5 ft for three (3) consecutive days, whichever comes first.
The Spring Lake slow-no-wake restrictions are extended until at least Aug. 14, 2014, or until the Prior Lake restrictions are removed.
Scott County Declared a State of Emergency
Scott County declared a state of emergency for the entire county, due to flooding. The Department of Homeland Security is looking at declaring 30 counties in the state as emergencies. If they are approved, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) would reimburse the state for up to 75% of recovery expenses and the State would cover up to 25%. At this point, the State has set aside $3 million for an emergency fund; however, it is possible there will be a special Legislative Session to authorize more funding. Scott County’s emergency limit is $454,748.
Federal Funding Update
Minnesota will receive $4.25 million in federal funding to help repair roads that have been damaged by the devastating flooding. The funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relive Program will help reimburse Minnesota for road repairs and reconstruction in response to extensive flood damage across much of the state.
Topics of Interest
Spring Lake Outlet Channel Flow
Note: This table is not accurate after the Spring Lake outlet restriction is put into place.
The table below gives approximate flow in cubic feet per second (cfs) coming from Spring Lake and flowing into Prior Lake. To get the most current flow, use the Spring Lake level provided at the top of the PLSLWD home page and compare it to the table to get flow. Flow leaving Prior Lake through the Outlet Structure is at max capacity (approximately 60 cfs) until Prior Lake gets back down to about 903.5’.
Lake Flow Overview
Spring Lake drains into Prior Lake through a natural channel and is the primary contributor to Prior Lake. Since Prior Lake does not have a natural outlet, the Prior Lake Outlet Structure was installed by the Watershed District in 1983 in response to flooding issues. The Structure consists of an intake structure and a 36” concrete pipe leading to an outlet channel. The pipe is full of water and has been for quite some time, so it is at capacity. Once the lake reaches 902.5 feet, the water flows over the outlet structure through the Prior Lake Outlet Channel and into the Minnesota River.
Rain Events & Lake Levels
Due to the number of rain events we’ve had this spring, we’ve received calls regarding lake levels and outlet structure operations from residents living on Prior Lake. The outlet structure is operating at capacity and has been. There have also been questions about opening the outlet structure’s lower gate to increase the amount of flow out of the lake. Opening the lower gate does not increase discharge capacity at current lake elevations. The lower gate is effective and typically opened when the water level is below 902.5 — only in March or April during spring snowmelt. Sandbags are available with the City of Prior Lake. Contact Pete Young at 952-447-9831.