High waters impact WelchAs floods subside elsewhere in Goodhue County, water has risen high and remained there in downstream communities like Cannon Falls and Welch.
WELCH -- Ross Nelson put his canoe and tube rental business to good use this week.
The owner of Welch Mill Canoeing and Tubing paddled one of the canoes typically rented out to tourists to his house, which had become encircled by flood waters from the Cannon River on Friday.
He stayed there overnight Friday, while his wife Jane, children and the family dog slept at his son's apartment in town.
"You always hear about people staying with their houses till the bitter end, right?" he said.
As floods elsewhere in Goodhue County subside, downstream communities like Cannon Falls and Welch are seeing waters rise well over flood stage two days after heavy rain hit the area on Thursday.
The Cannon River was within a foot of record levels in Welch on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. The river crested at 14.37 feet Friday night and remained at the level into the day. Before the rain earlier in the week, the river was at just under 5 feet.
At Northfield, just upstream from Cannon Falls, the river was at 25.21 feet as of 4:15 p.m. Saturday. That's a new record for a river that was just below 15 feet on Wednesday.
Nelson said this wasn't the first time he had experienced flooding at his home. In a method he has used in the past, he allowed water to flow into his basement to avoid the collapse of the foundations.
He didn't expect any significant damage as of Saturday afternoon.
"Still, it's never good to see this," he said.
Other neighboring homes and buildings had also been flooded, including the Welch Town Hall across the street, located in a historic school house.
A portion of County Road 7 north of Vasa was completely flooded Saturday afternoon, making some area homes and one business inaccessible to vehicles.
Perry Eisert, Vice President of Operations at Welch Village, was preparing to hike through a neighboring property to get to the ski and snowboard area on Saturday.
Valuable equipment was threatened by rising waters on Friday, he said. The business is currently building a new ski lift.
"We were scrambling to get our stuff moved out," he said.
Keep checking the R-E for further updates on this story.