My son and I took a trip to Municipal Park in Sauk Rapids on Monday to ride the slides, shoot some hoops and to throw rocks in the Mississippi River. When we went to the "bank" of the river I was shocked to see just how low the water level has gotten.

I used quotes for the word 'bank' because we were able to walk way, way past what would normally be the bank of the river and onto a rock bed about 20 feet into what would normally be flowing water.

According to the National Weather Service, the current level of the mighty Mississippi in St. Cloud is currently 3.86 feet (as of 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday, July 13th.

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The record low in St. Cloud was 2.5 feet on October 18th, 1992, followed by a reading of 3.69 feet on August 23rd, 1989. The third-lowest was actually recorded on June 29th of this year- 3.70 feet.

The current level is the fifth-lowest ever recorded in St. Cloud. This is mainly due to the drought conditions we have experienced this year in Central Minnesota and, with little rain in the near-future forecast, the problem could get even worse before the end of the summer.

The river has been around for 20 million years (!) so the odds of it bouncing back are better than great. It's still jarring to see its once-raging waters so low!

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