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

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

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. 

Next Up


St. Cloud State blanked by UMass in national championship game

Minnesota had three teams in the Frozen Four but didn't claim the national title.

BLM mural in West St. Paul.

Minnesotan's fight to save his BLM mural gets international coverage

West St. Paul told Ryan Weyandt the art violates city code.

Alex Rodriguez

Reports: Alex Rodriguez part of group finalizing deal to buy Wolves, Lynx

The former MLB will become part-owner of the Wolves and Lynx.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Accumulating snow expected in parts of Minnesota on Monday

Far northwestern Minnesota stands the best chance for higher snow totals.

Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 1.53.51 PM

Police looking for 'person of interest' in connection to woman's killing

The public is advised to avoid approaching him and to call 911.

covid, vaccine

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Saturday, April 10

Cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in Minnesota.

Gabe Kalscheur

Gabe Kalscheur announces he's transferring to Iowa State

The former Gopher guard entered the transfer portal last month.


Asked about restrictions, Walz says Minnesota is in a 'hold pattern'

Meanwhile, the governor of Michigan is urging people to stay home to slow the spread.

walz and zapko

Watch: Beloved MN sign language interpreter profiled on Today Show

Nic Zapka's work made her an internet celebrity last year.

White Bear Lake Area High School

White Bear Lake students hold walkout over racist social media comments

School officials are investigating the anonymous Instagram account.


Teenager crashes into washed out road caused by flooding

Fortunately, the airbag and seat belt saved him.

flooding on Interstate 90

Torrential rains cause major flooding in MN, SD, IA, WI

The heavy rain shut down Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota on Thursday.

More flooding on MN rivers with 'growing concern' for more heavy rain

Hwy. 41 in Chaska may need to be closed, the National Weather Service says.


Flash flooding as storms dump on Minnesota, Wisconsin

Ridiculous rainfall totals have washed out roads in western Wisconsin.

Beloved broadcaster killed in flash flooding in Iowa

He was a longtime host and announcer in Des Moines.