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What lies beneath? Engineers draw down Mississippi in Minneapolis

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Low river
This view gives a good sense of how low the Mississippi River appears. It's 13 feet lower than usual. The foundation of a dam from 1987, known as de la Barre's Folly, is visible.
MPR Photo/Tom Crann

Dozens of history buffs and river lovers braved the sub-zero windchills in Minneapolis Wednesday to get a rare glimpse of the bottom of the Mississippi River.  

It's a view that only comes around every 20 years or so, as inspectors check out stormwater tunnels between the Upper and Lower St. Anthony Falls dams near downtown Minneapolis.

Like pulling the plug in a bathtub, engineers opened the lower locks to drain off 13 feet of river, exposing an island, pieces of the old 10th St. bridge and a snomobile, among other things.

MPR's Tom Crann talked with National Park Service ranger John Anfinson about the unusual sight.