Major rain totals fuel quick rises in rivers near Duluth-Superior

The Nemadji River appears to have crested Tuesday morning.
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Before and after images of the Nemadji River near Superior. 

Before and after images of the Nemadji River near Superior. 

The Nemadji River near Duluth-Superior rose more than six feet on Monday after torrential rainfall pounded central and northern parts of Minnesota. 

"Thunderstorms brought heavy rainfall to portions of the Northland yesterday, with many locations between Brainerd and Superior receiving between 3 to 5 inches!" the National Weather Service in Duluth said Tuesday morning. 

"Flooding continues to impact roads in these areas, including Dedham Road 1/2 mile south of Highway C in Douglas County being closed due to water flowing over the bridge, as well as Woodlawn Road at the Nemadji River in Superior, Wisconsin. If you encounter flooded roadways, turn around and find an alternate route to your destination!"

Before-and-after images of the Nemadji River shared by the weather service reveals a significant rise in the Superior area. 

The Nemadji River near Superior was at a stage of about 5.75 feet around 6 a.m. Monday, and it appears to have crested at 25.79 feet at 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to the USGS. 


The impacts of the surging river rise are numerous closed roads in Douglas County, in addition to some roads being washed out and potential culvert collapses, according to FOX 21 in Duluth

The Snake River and other streams and waterways in east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin have also flooded. 

Here's a map showing estimated rainfall totals from the Sunday-Monday soaker. 


The significant rise in water levels is actually not as astonishing as a record flooding event the same area experienced June 2018, when the Nemadji River's stage skyrocketed 22 feet in 15 hours after nearly a foot of rain hammered parts of east-central Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin. 

The before-and-after photos of the Nemadji River near Superior during that flooding event shows the bridge in the image nearly submerged by the river, which is significantly higher than the river is at the present. 

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