Droves expected for Feb. 2019 river drawdown
The 2008 drawdown of the river around St. Anthony Falls drew thousands of people to glimpse the riverbed and learn more about our local national park. This year, another drawdown is scheduled for late February. (Photo by Tony Webster, CC2.0.)
Update from 2/8/2019: "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, will forgo plans to temporarily lower Mississippi River elevation in the intermediate pool between Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls, originally scheduled to take place from Feb. 25 to March 1. The drawdown, requested by the Bassett Creek Watershed Commission, was proposed to facilitate a tunnel inspection as part of the Bassett Creek Flood Risk Reduction project. Further review of the proposal found that a drawdown could not be supported at this time."
In late-February 2019, you'll have a rare opportunity to see the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls lower than it's been for over 20 years.
February 25 – March 1 (weather permitting) the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be drawing down the river 13 feet between Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls locks and dams. The Corps conducts the drawdown to allow for the inspection of the Bassett Creek Tunnel. Typically, water is drawn down 1.5 feet per day and you can see the river bed on the final drawdown day.
Droves of people brave the cold to witness drawdowns. See the overview and check out the photos in the Army Corps newsletter covering the 2008 drawdown.
Plans are still being determined, but John A. Anfinson, FMR board member and superintendent of our local national park, the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, will likely lead historic river tours of the area.