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Flood update: Dam breaks, roads washed away, 2 killed

Authorities are warning drivers to turn around, don't drown.

Pine County in east-central Minnesota appears to have escaped the worst of flash flooding caused by a dam break on Monday. 

The dangerous flooding was a result of 5-15 inches of rain that fell in northwest Wisconsin Friday through Sunday, and as river levels rose, rushing water broke through a dam on the Tamarack River in southwest Douglas County, Wisconsin, which borders Pine County. 

"It sounds like no major damage or flooding impact due to the dam break in Wisconsin," the Pine County Sheriff's Office posted to Facebook Tuesday morning.

"We were out in the Markville, Duxbury area this morning. Official road updates will be posted later this morning after the highway department completes their inspections. As of now, State Highway 48 remains closed at the St. Croix River crossing."

Wisconsin was harder hit, and the deaths of 2 men have been attributed to the storms and flooding seen in the past few days, the first when a tree fell onto a camper in Sawyer County on Sunday, with the second found dead near his submerged pickup south of Ashland on Monday. 

Related: Nemadji River rises 25 feet in two days due to extreme rainfall

The conditions are causing havoc across the region, with residents urged to not take risks. The photo below shows a driver who ignored a barricade and got stuck on a flooded road in Pine County. 

"Incidentally, the driver was arrested for outstanding warrants," the sheriff's office said. "Stay out of the flooded road areas whether barricades are up or not."

car in water

1 in 1,000-year rain event

Flooding conditions are worse in Wisconsin where the bulk of the heavy rains fell. 

In fact, MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner says the 15 inches that fell in Drummond were about two inches more than needed to qualify as a 1 in 1,000-year rain event

The storms that dumped the rain are to blame for two deaths, one when a man drowned on a flooded roadaway and another in which severe winds knocked a large oak tree on top of a camper, killing a Minnesota man and injuring a woman and two kids inside

On Monday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker issued a State of Emergency Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, and Iron counties.

For a list of road closures in Bayfield, Douglas and Sawyer counties, click here. For Ashland County click here. The latest closures in Burnett County are here. You can get Iron County restrictions here

Douglas County Emergency Management Director Keith Kesler said late Monday that he is unaware of any evacuations from the flooding, noting that not many people live in the effected area.

Here are some photos of the flooding, some of which show extreme flash flooding at Amnicon Falls State Park. 

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