Heavy Rainfall Leads to Kayaking in Minneapolis Streets

Kayakers paddled around the streets of Minneapolis last night after a line of thunderstorms ripped through the metro area bringing torrential rains and flooding to parts of Southeast Minneapolis.  The rains started at 7:40 p.m, and quickly ended at 8:00PM.

Storm drain units near Crosstown 62 by MSP International were overwhelmed by the heavy downpour.

Residents in the Nokomis area came out to watch the spectacle of rising water within their streets and motorist trying to get to their homes had to quickly turn their cars around as water reached half-way up the door of mid-sized SUVs.

Several streets in the Nokomis area were hit with flood waters, anywhere from 1/2 inch to above the knee on grown men. A few intersections were completely lost as fire hydrants and stop sign polls were partially covered while intersections and sidewalks had disappeared in the muddied waters.

One gentleman cried out “oh no!” as he tried getting out of his car without letting the water into his vehicle. Another person brought his kayak out from the house and began paddling his way through the streets. He laughed and said he was having a great time when asked if kayaking in the streets was fun.


Other families caught up with friends and neighbors near the water’s edge as they brought out their young children and dogs to come out and play in the water.

A pizza delivery guy was amazed as he saw the standing water and said he was in the north metro and it had rained for 40 minutes but it hadn’t flooded to his knowledge. One resident said that flooding does not occur on a regular basis in the neighborhood, but it has happened during heavy downpours.

Flood waters within the neighborhoods disappeared by 9:30 p.m. While official totals for the rain will not be announced until later today, many families said that their rain gauges showed an inch of rain within the 20-minute span.

According to the City of Minneapolis Public Works website: “Minneapolis Sewer Operations maintains and improves the sanitary sewer and storm drainage system in the City of Minneapolis.” Katrina Kessler who is the Director of Sewage and Storm Drain Unites told Alpha News this morning that “storm drain units are meant to handle normal rates of water, however, heavy storms can lead to localized flooding.” Speaking with one local who lived in the area for almost 20 years, he said that  this was the worst the flooding has been since he’s been in the neighborhood.

After the storm , residents in the neighborhoods witnessed a large rainbow in the sky as the water slowly began to recede.

Preya Samsundar

Preya Samsundar was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities this Spring with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology, with a minor in Strategic Communications. Preya has previously worked on several State Campaign Races.