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Flooding mounts on Minnesota roads due to rain, snowmelt

Rain will transition to snow on Thursday.
flooding

1:30 P.M. UPDATE

Water on the road and pavement failure has closed the right lane of eastbound I-94 in Minneapolis from 3rd Ave. to the Portland Ave. tunnel. There are also more than two-dozen state roads and highways dealing with flooding and closures. See the full list of issues here

10 A.M. UPDATE

Travel is not advised on rural roads in Cass County, Minnesota. 

The sheriff's office says many rural roads "have become impassable with reports of slushy/snow covered roads and visibility reduced to a 1/2 mile or less at times." 

The difficult driving conditions have resulted in vehicles stuck in ditches on on rural county highways, the sheriff says. 

7:30 A.M. 

Flood warnings have been issued in parts of southern Minnesota as warm temperatures combined with steady rain are quickly melting the snow, leading to widespread street flooding and high water levels in low-lying areas. 

Water on Interstate 35 near Pine City has resulted in vehicles going in the ditch Thursday morning, according to Sgt. Neil Dickenson of the Minnesota State Patrol. 

"Watch out for standing water on the roadways today. MSP and the Pine County Sheriff's Department are both responding to vehicles in the ditch in Pine County on I-35 near milepost 171, Hwy 70 east of I-35 and Hwy 48 east of I-35," Dickenson posted to Twitter

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has shut down Hwy. 60 near Wabasha and Hwy. 43 between Elgin and Plainview in southeast Minnesota because of flooding, and warns that high water could be a concern elsewhere as rain continues to fall. 

In Shakopee, County Road 69 is closed at the railroad bridge between Rahr Malting and Shakopee Town Square because of flooding, according to the Scott County Sheriff's Office. 

Flood warnings in southwest Minnesota

Lyon, Lincoln, Pipestone, Murray and Cottonwood counties in southwest Minnesota are in flood warnings until 6 p.m. Thursday because of significant rain and snowmelt. 

The National Weather Service says: "While additional rains will be limited over eastern South Dakota as precipitation changes to snow early this morning, some areas of southwest Minnesota could get another one to two tenths of an inch rainfall.

"Snow melt will add to the moisture causing the flooding of small streams and ponding in urban areas."

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Race against time for bridge work as Mississippi rises

Construction crews building a bridge in Red Wing are working 24-hour shifts in order to meet their goals before the expected rise of the Mississippi River, according to MnDOT. 

Zenith Tech crews are in the process of setting tub girders for the Hwy. 63 replacement bridge across the river, with the 24-hour shifts potentially followed with weekend work depending on how things progress.

Melting snow and forecast rain will put long stretches of the Mississippi River at risk of flooding in Minnesota, and it could submerge part of the construction area once the river reaches its full height, likely some time in April. 

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