In September 2016 we experienced a major flood on Cannon Lake, and now in 2024 we are going through an even more severe flood. I’m going to use the completely unscientific gauge of the seating at the end of our dock. In 2016 the water was right up to the seat. This year, only about 3 inches of the upper part of the seats is popping above the water.

I wasn’t sure how bad the flooding would be this year. I have cameras mostly for keeping track of weather and storms and things were generally looking okay. Tammy went to the lake on Thursday to check on things and reported the lake was a couple inches below the top of the dock. Given there wasn’t much rain in the forecast I sort of thought it would be okay.

Then today the lake association sent an email that there were sandbags available at the Channel Inn for homeowners that needed them, and the lake was probably going to rise another foot. I got into the car immediately and went drove there.

As I got to Faribault I started to see how bad the flooding was. There was a road on the periphery of Faribault that was flooded and impassable. As I drove toward Cannon Lake I saw that the water was up very high. Shager Beach wasn’t there at all, entirely under water. The public docks along the south side of the lake were all badly damaged. As I got closer to our place I saw that some of the houses had as much as 100’ of lakeshore underwater.

The good news for us is our place is on a bit of a rise. We are at least 20 feet higher than many other places. Happily our basement is still dry. The biggest issue is the pontoon, which was why I was there. Unfortunately the sumac trees along our shore have gone nuts and the camera I can usually watch the boat from showed nothing of value.

When I got there I could see right away we had some problems.

What to do? I had to think on it a bit. There is no chance of getting the pontoon out from under the canopy. I didn’t like the look of the back of the pontoon. It was much lower and the back of the canopy was visibly higher in the air. I don’t want the motor sinking. After some consideration I switched into swimming shorts, put on a life jacket, and got a single aluminum paddle. I wasn’t going to repeat walking off the dock like I did in 2016, so I use the paddle and very carefully made my way step my step down the stairs and along the dock. I was about waist high in the water.

Once I got to the boat I lowered the ladder and used that to climb into it. The boat was pretty high up to get into otherwise. My goal was to make the boat as short as possible. The bimini was on its lowest setting, but I could drop it all the way down and get another foot. This was not easy. The boat was holding the canopy up and there was a lot of weight. I gave it a lot of muscle and finally lifted the canopy off enough to get the bimini down all the way.

Then I crawled into the boat and noticed that one of the cover poles was bent into a C-shape. I knocked out all of the poles to again lower the profile of the boat. After doing this, I could tell the boat was floating a little bit. It wasn’t pinned in place anymore. I then carefully grabbed a tie down and went back down the ladder. I loosely tied the boat to the canopy support. It cannot go anywhere, it is totally trapped. But when the water lowers the rope could be useful.

I don’t think there is anything else I can do. I definitely bought myself some room. I think the lake could raise another 6" or 12" and it would probably be okay. We’ll see. 🤞

After I took care of this, I repositioned the lake camera and put a new access point in place outside to make this work. Now I have full eyes on the boat and know what is going on. 👀

After tending to my situation I looked around a bit and took some photos. I’ve got it pretty easy. Some folks have their entire houses flooded. It was sad to see.

I also took a video as I drove along Cannon Lake Trail, which is the small road on a strip of land between Cannon Lake and Wells Lake. Feel for these folks. 🙏