During the most recent advances of the glaciers, the Laurentide Ice Sheet came as far south as present day Browns Valley, Minnesota. The head of the ice left a ridge called Big Stone Moraine. As the ice melted, a huge lake formed behind this moraine. That lake is known as Lake Agassiz. This lake was huge, covering an area larger than all of the current Great Lakes combined. At some point about 8,000 BC, the lake overtopped the moraine and started to drain. The breech eventually grew to about 1,300 feet wide and about 4 miles in length. The tremendous volume of water flowed down stream, cutting a valley that averages 130 feet deep though areas currently occupied by Big Stone Lake, the Minnesota River, and the Mississippi River (from Saint Paul and south). While the water flowed for an estimated 2,600 years, the bulk of the lake may have drained in as little as one year. Around 6,400 BC, the ice had retreated enough to create another outlet for the lake to flow into Hudson Bay. At that time, Lake Agassiz continued to drain to the north, and the water fell below the elevation of the outlet at Browns Valley.
The remains of the outlet of Lake Agassiz is called Traverse Gap. Lake Traverse is on the north side of the gap. It is maintained by a dam at 967 feet of elevation. Big Stone lake is to the south. It is also maintained at 967 by a dam in Ortonville, MN. A highway has been built across the high part of the gap, and a small park has been built to note this geographical feature. The photo above shows the marker, while the photo below shows the park. The historical high spot was at 984 feet, but improvements in the highway put the roadway at 987 feet. A dike was also built across the gap, and that dike is at 987.
The result of these elevations is that water that is high enough to overtop the roadway will also flow across the continental divide. The result is that flood waters from Lake Traverse could flow to the south and end up in the Minnesota River, while a flood on Bit Stone Lake could overtop the roadway and flow north to Hudson Bay.
The photo below is looking north at Lake Traverse. The water on the north side of the road flows into the Red River and into Canada, eventually flowing into James Bay at the southern tip of Hudson Bay.