Roads closed, motorists stranded by overnight rain; more possible on Thursday


Thursday A.M.

The Twin Cities and southeast Minnesota are recovering from a deluge of rain that fell overnight, with motorists abandoning their vehicles as streets flooded particularly in the north metro area.

The flash flood warning ended in the Twin Cities at 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, by which time more than 10 inches of rain had fallen in some areas including Maple Grove.

But there are still a number of flood warnings in place as of Thursday morning, mainly to the south of the Twin Cities including Waseca, Faribault, Blue Earth and Olmsted counties. A full list can be found here.

The National Weather Service reported on Thursday morning that in the space of 48 hours, Waseca has had 13.91 inches of rain. The flood warnings came after an almost-record wet August left high saturation levels in much of eastern Minnesota.

The NWS said "significant" flooding has been reported in the Waseca area.

Hennepin County has closed several roads because of floodwater Thursday morning, mostly in the Maple Grove/Brooklyn Park areas. You can find a map of road closures here.

The Star Tribune reports emergency crews had to be called in to help with stranded motorists last night in the Twin Cities, with vehicles left inoperable as flood waters came up to their windows.

A mudslide also closed some lanes of Hwy. 81 in Maple Grove, the newspaper notes.

And according to KSTP, snow plows had to be called in by the Minnesota Department of Transportation to push water off Interstate 94 near Highway 169. The freeway was closed last night but had completely reopened by 5:30 a.m., though some ramp closures remain in place.

More rain could be on the way too, with the NWS forecasting potential scattered thunderstorms in the Twin Cities and southeast of the state through tonight – albeit there's a low risk for severe weather – and from Friday through Wednesday several additional inches of rain are possible, "prolonging the flooding risk."

People have been sharing pictures on social media of cars under rain, in some areas being swept up by the moving water. The picture at the top of this page was taken at the Springbrook Apartments in Fridley and posted to the I Love NE Minneapolis Facebook page.

Wednesday P.M.

Heavy rains caused street flooding in the Twin Cities Wednesday evening and more flash flood warnings continued overnight in the metro area and southern Minnesota.

Find an updated list of active warnings for Minnesota here.

Flash flood warnings were in effect late Wednesday and early Thursday from Anoka County in the northern Twin Cities south to Mower County on the Iowa state line.

Some of the heaviest rain and early flooding occurred in the Twin Cities' northern suburbs, particularly Maple Grove.

Forecasters were expecting two to three inches of fresh rain across the Twin Cities, leading to flooding of creeks and rivers but also flooding urban areas where highways, streets, underpasses and low-lying spots could be underwater.

A flash flood watch continues for southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin through Thursday evening, as another line of storms is expected in the area.

In western Wisconsin a number of roads were underwater, especially in Chickasaw, Clark, and Floyd Counties, the Weather Service office in La Crosse reported.

Even before the evening rains, some roads were covered with water or mud, the Associated Press reported.

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