Video: Above the Cannon River, after the big rains

I tried to fly down to the area southeast of Mankato this afternoon to try to get a better look at the floods caused by this week’s rain. Unfortunately, there was a wall of water in the sky, stretching for miles across the region, preventing me from getting through. It’s not going to be any fun this weekend for the people who live near rivers.

The best story about a flood is usually found on the ground, and I’ve found over the years that it usually doesn’t involve water. Floods are awful things. They’re also one of the things that can bring us back together in a hurry.

In a flood, nobody cares who you’re voting for in November, or what you think about the National Anthem, or any of the dozens of other things that separate us. There’s no time for that when the water is rising. When you’re slinging sandbags, you don’t care what the person next to you looks like, where they were born, or what religion they practice, if any.

Anyway, I flew along the Cannon River Valley from Cannon Falls to Red Wing and marveled — again — at the way rivers tend to go wherever they want to go, despite our best efforts.

Officials today urged people to stay off the Zumbro, Cannon, Straight, Whitewater and Root rivers. A lot of bike trails along them are closed, the Department of Natural Resources says.

I circled around the village of Welch in this video. Goodhue County is closing Highway 7, which you can see is underwater in some locations.

Don’t get your hopes up if you’re looking for something dramatic in the video. It’s just a lazy flight along a river with a mind of its own.

(Full route video here)

The river at Welch was at 12.5 feet on Friday afternoon, still well below the record of 15 feet set in June 1998. But it is now 7th on the list of floods, just passing the 12.3 foot flood in June 2014’s record rainfall.

Farther west, things are surging in Northfield. It’s heading your way, Welch.