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Up to 10 inches of rain pummels south-central Minnesota

Areas to the north of Mankato were hit the hardest.

Torrential rainfall pummeled south-central Minnesota Saturday night into Sunday morning and has led to flooding as stunning rainfall totals have been realized. 

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, the National Weather Service said the epicenter of the heaviest rain was in Sibley County, with radar estimates suggesting anywhere from 3 to more than 7 inches of rain having fallen, with the highest amounts at the time between Winthrop and Lafeyette. 

That was as of late Saturday night, but the radar estimates shown below from weather app RadarScope indicate 2-3 inches in the yellow/orange areas and 6-8 inches in the red and pink areas since 12:05 a.m. 

Image from iOS (3)

Overall, flood warnings issued for the hardest hit locations include messaging from the weather service that 5-10 inches of rain has fallen. 

"At 804 AM CDT, Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated heavy rain due to thunderstorms. Flooding is already occurring in the warned area. Between 5 and 10 inches of rain have fallen," the warning says. 

Flood warnings are in effect until 5 p.m. for the following areas: 

  • Southeastern Renville County
  • Southern Sibley County
  • Blue Earth County
  • Central Brown County
  • Southwestern Le Sueur County
  • Nicollet County
  • Waseca County
  • East Central Redwood County

MnDOT has reopened both ramps from Hwy. 169 to Lookout Drive in Mankato after both were closed due to flash flooding overnight, though the flood-prone area of Hwy. 93 to Hwy. 169 in the Henderson area remains closed Sunday morning. 

Why did storms continue to pummel the same areas? 

According to the NWS, it's because "The atmosphere is being continuously replenished by moisture rich air from the south along the low level jet, which is why you see the storms sitting/training over the same area for so long."

Rain is expected to linger through the midday Sunday, which will help keep temps down a little bit, although the humidity will still be felt through much of the day before a cold front brings relief.

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