Paul Youngstadt has an old house just outside Mayer, Minn. He lives on 13 acres along a bend in the south fork Crow River, and the water is really high this year.
So, just to be safe, he's got an aluminum fishing boat with an outboard motor in his yard, but it's not on a trailer.
Or, rather, it's beached on the grass, just a couple steps from his front porch. There's only about a football field's worth of dry land left of his place.
"It's come up 28 inches in the last 27 hours, so, as you can see, another two feet and the house is gone," Youngstedt said. "That hasn't happened since 1965. It's serious."
He's got construction equipment lined up on the county road in front of his house and a trailer waiting to haul everything away. He's brought up his freezer and everything else he could carry out of the basement.
"Now I have to go down there and unhook my furnace, and my water softener and my well, and haul that up here. Now we can't use our bathrooms and sink or anything. So this is a bummer," Youngstedt said.
It's also a record. The water level on the south fork of the Crow River set an all-time high just upstream from Youngstadt's house. The river is expected to peak in Mayer on Wednesday.
The crest there was higher than what was forecast by the National Weather Service, according to MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner.
"Downstream that bubble of water will move toward Watertown and Delano, and the Crow River at Delano is now forecast to rise about another two feet, and then crest late Friday or into Saturday at 19.5 feet," Huttner said. "That is a foot above major flood stage."
That threat has Delano city officials bracing for the worst flooding they've seen in nearly a decade. The city council made an emergency appropriation of $30,000 to pay for fighting the flood along River Street.
It's aptly named. The Crow River is rushing by just a few feet from the curb, and lapping almost at the bottom of the bridge that connects the east and west sides of downtown.
"We met last night, the city council, and voted to implement phase two," said Delano Mayor Joe McDonald. "Which means two-and-a-half blocks of a temporary dike on the road, on River Street, with detours both on River Street and Bridge Avenue, upsetting both daily activity in town, which includes daily mass at the local church, the day care facility preschool and then businesses, the local coffee shop."
For now, the city has decided to hold off on putting up the dike. Warm weather has lessened the chance of ice jams building up under the town's main bridge and forcing the river out of its banks and into the streets.
"We're not out of the water yet," McDonald said. "Pun intended, but we're looking a lot better than we were 24 hours ago."
Luckily, they've had a lot of time to prepare, and some experience with flooding in Delano. High water last hit town in 2001, so many residents have seen before what the river can do. The city, with the help of some state grants, also bought out more than a dozen low-lying homes in town since then, to mitigate the damage flooding can do.
Still, everyone's keeping a close eye on the water.
DNR hydrologist Matt Mayer and volunteer Keylor Andrews were making the rounds of instruments along the Crow River today.
They ran a floating sonar unit back and forth across the floodwater, measuring the depth and flow of the river. They found about 5800 cubic feet of water per second running through Delano, more than 20 times the volume of water that was running through town a couple weeks ago.
They were also checking on the DNR's river gauge in downtown Delano at lunch time.
"It basically takes a stage reading which is the height of the water every 15 minutes. It goes up to the satellite, and then into a database where its stored, and we can use it for various purposes," Mayer said.
River forecasters will be studying that data for the rest of this week, trying to figure out how bad it may get for people here along the Crow River.