Days of relentless rainfall and waves of storms prompted Gov. Mark Dayton to declare a state of emergency in 35 Minnesota counties affected by flooding and storm damage.
The executive order makes various state resources available for those counties and engages state agencies in response efforts, according to a news release.
Counties in the state of emergency include: Beltrami, Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hubbard, Jackson, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lyon, Koochiching, McLeod, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pipestone, Ramsey, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Saint Louis, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Todd and Waseca, the release says.
Dayton also sent 100 National Guard Soldiers to Koochiching County, in far northern Minnesota.
The state's Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) fully activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Thursday, which had been partially activated earlier this week in response to recent storms.
Heavy rains have been drenching the state for the past month. The entire state is 5-10 inches above its normal rainfall levels, according to reports. In the last week, Minnesota has been pounded by storms and heavy rain, which has flooded already swollen waterways.
Throughout the state, water-covered roads slowed the Thursday morning commute. The heavy rainfall Thursday set records, making it the wettest day in 2014 for the Twin Cities, and pushing 2014 into the record books for wettest start to a year since 1871.
And more rain is on the way for Thursday evening, which will raise already high flooding risks.