Reports range from 3.6 inches Friday night into early Saturday, to 5 inches.

It’s not the way anyone would want to start any day, much less a Saturday.

“Carter came into the bedroom and said, ‘The basement’s flooded,’” Jen Nelson recalled in her garage Saturday morning as friends walked past her, back and forth, from the basement carrying furniture and other soaked items, which were deposited into an ever-growing pile in the middle of the garage.

Carter is Mike and Jen Nelson’s youngest son. His sister, Morgan, was helping as well, as was oldest son, Shaun, who responded to the call from mom to come home and help, and brought some of his roommates from their Grand Forks apartment.
Crookston and cities to the east, north and northeast were hammered by a series of weather systems Friday night that continued with more rain into early Saturday morning. The Times put out a call for rain and water damage reports Saturday morning on Facebook, and the smallest amount reported in town was 3.6 inches on Sunset Avenue. Closer to Walsh Street near Highland School in Crookston’s northeast corner, where the Nelsons live, the rain gauges consistently showed more than 4 inches and there are some reports of 5 inches of rain in that neighborhood.

Jen Nelson said a storm drain on the street at the corner of their property clogged with debris and what appeared to be a fair amount of mud, and that could have contributed to their problems. As a result, Mike Nelson said, their sump pump “fried” and they had to rush out and buy a new one. When Jen went outside and cleared the clogged drain, she shot a video of the water funneling and gushing through the storm grate.

Most of their basement is carpeted and it’s fully finished. It was clear Saturday morning as people hauled out items large and small that many things are beyond repair. The carpet definitely has to go.

Jen said she was “overwhelmed” by the people who came over to help.

Meanwhile, across the street on Walsh Street, Ben Dorman manned sump pumps and another pump in the backyard, where a small lake had formed, while his mom, Janise Dorman went through their mail on the front porch. They’ve lived there for 25 years, she said, and although they’ve had their sump pump overflow before, they’ve never had water come into their basement from underneath their porch, which is what they were facing Saturday morning. She theorizes that several relatively dry years may have resulted in some of the soil pulling away a bit from the porch. This summer’s consistent rains, followed by the late Friday and early Saturday deluge, might have found a way to get through that gap.

“It’s never, ever been like this,” she said. While the floor is wet in the basement, she added, they don’t have any standing water.

Farm fields in and around Crookston are beyond saturated as well, as the American Crystal Sugar pre-pile harvest tries to continue and farmers try to get to their soggy soybeans.

The Red Lake River level in Crookston had jumped up by mid-day Saturday as well. Hydrologists at the National Weather Service project it will near 14 feet by early in the week. Just driving by Saturday, it looked higher than what the current hydrograph was reporting, a depth of just under 7 feet.

On the upside, the forecast calls for clearing later Saturday and into Sunday, with several days of little or no rain in the forecast.