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3 inches of rain adds to already wet summer

Water approaches a house on the east side of Lake Burgen. (Contributed) 1 / 3
Water washes over East Lake Burgen Road after Sunday's long soaking rain. (contributed)2 / 3
Rain water washes over the road along 50th Avenue in the southeast corner of Alexandria Township. (Contributed)3 / 3

If you think this summer has been wetter than normal, you're right, the National Weather Service says.

Three inches of rain fell in Alexandria on Sunday as measured at the airport, and several roads and ditches flooded east of Alexandria near Nelson, after what has already been a wet and stormy year.

The National Weather Service says June was 0.89 inches above the average at 4.94 inches of rain. July brought in 1.41 inches above average at 4.83 inches.

Alexandria has already received 5.64 inches of rain midway through August while 3.54 inches is the average for the entire month.

National Weather Service records indicate that 2016 was the wettest year in Minnesota history, as well as Alexandria history. Alexandria received 40.32 inches last year, breaking the previous record of 40.15, which was set in 1911.

So far in 2017, Alexandria has received 22.25 inches.

Joel Dahlheimer owns a farm east of Alexandria where he has wheat, soybeans and corn.

"I'm concerned if this goes into the fall," Dahlheimer said about all the rain.

Dahlheimer said his concerns include too much water in the fields causing difficulty when combining wheat, white mold possibly growing in the soybeans and nitrogen in cornfields leaching away, making for yellowish corn plants.

While scouting the area near his land, he saw several flooded ditches and roads, Dahlheimer said.

"There's no doubt there's water where it shouldn't be," he said

Some wheat fields in the area already have been harvested, but Dahlheimer's wheat isn't ready just yet, he said. Dahlheimer said he hopes his fields, which also include soybeans and corn crops, will dry up for the harvest.

Combining in a wet field isn't something he looks forward to.

The markets show an abundance of crops this year according to Dahlheimer, but that means lower prices in this rainy season for him. He said farms in his area have gotten a lot of rain, while farms in places near Villard say they need more rain.

Tim Bennett with Pro-Ag Farmers Co-op in Brandon said the wheat farmers are the most concerned as the longer those fields stay wet, the longer the farmers need to wait to harvest.

"I always tell everybody wheat is kind of like hay, the longer it stays in the field the quality goes down," said Bennett. "The wheat price has been dropping like a rock here in the last three days, it's down like about $1.30 since last Wednesday."

Sunday rain in Alexandria didn't only affect farm fields.

Lightning was blamed for a fire at a detached garage on South Le Homme Dieu Drive.

On Lake Burgen, Karin Weigel said rising lake levels swept a Jet Ski off its lift near the shoreline.

She said the water level must be about 3 feet higher than normal as their 6 to 8 feet stretch of shoreline beach sand is now covered by water.

The Jet Ski didn't drift too far away from their property, but Weigel posted on Facebook a warning to other Burgen residents to check their boat lifts as well.

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