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Severe drought impacts metro lakes, while local vineyards flourish

KARE-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul 10/6/2022 Deevon Rahming (KARE11)
© Provided by KARE-TV Minneapolis-St. Paul

Life is full of pros and cons and the impacts of the weather are no exception.

"I can't control the weather, all I can do is just deal with it," said Michael Jellish, co-owner of Your Boat Club

For Jellish, it's been a wild ride trying to stay afloat in areas like Prior Lake. 

"In 1989 is the last time the lake has ever been this low," said Jellish. 

Much of the metro has spent the last eight weeks under severe drought, where water levels in Prior Lake are proving to be problematic. 

"We've had to walk boats through the channel, pull them through the channel, to make sure that they don't hit a gas line that's right there or a rock," said Jellish. 

Cell phone video captured the severity of what many boaters in lakes across the area are dealing with. 

Meteorologists say rainfall has been below average for seven of the last nine months, with June and September being the driest.

"People are, you know, ruining motors," said Jellish. 

What's going wrong for some is just what Mother Nature ordered for others. 

"Yeah, you know this year was ideal," said Matt Scott, head winemaker, and general manager at 7 Vines Vineyard in Dellwood. 

The vineyard is reaping the benefits of these drier temps, as Scott explained, too much rain could cause fungus. 

"This year we had about 22-percent increase across the board on our grape production," said Scott. He went on to explain, "Having it be dry, these guys don't like wet feet so a drier condition is what they strive for."

While conditions aren't ideal in every situation... 

"The big thing is to keep everybody safe and everybody just needs to understand what's going on," said Jellish. 

Meteorologists say it'll take an inch of rain or snow a week to recover and for water levels to return back to normal. 

7 Vines Vineyard is celebrating their fifth anniversary on Sunday, with a free festival from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

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