Flooding reported in Minnesota, Wisconsin after drenching rain overnight

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Thunderstorms that brought heavy rain and frequent lightning overnight raised river levels and caused localized flooding in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin Monday.

Areas in southern Minnesota picked up

" target="_blank">more than 3 inches of rain from the storm, while River Falls, Wisconsin, got drenched overnight, receiving more than 7 inches of rain by 8 a.m., the National Weather Service tweeted.

Heavy downpours – as much as 2 inches of rain per hour in some places – flooded low-lying areas, creeks, streams and some roadways (leading to a slow morning commute as well as some accidents, KSTP says).

The rain also swelled rivers in the area: The Kinnickinnic River near River Falls crested at 17.86 feet Monday around 12:30 p.m., flood waters are now beginning to recede, the National Weather Service tweeted.

The Minnehaha Creek at Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis has gone up by more than 2 feet, reaching a depth of over 15 feet, MPR News says.

Record-breaking rainfall

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport picked up nearly 3 inches of rain by Monday morning – the highest rainfall recorded at the airport this year, topping the 0.95 inches that fell on June 22, the Pioneer Press reports.

Monday's rainfall also broke a 19th-century rainfall record for this date:

Showers continued through the morning commute in the Twin Cities and southwestern Minnesota, but are expected to slowly clear out in the afternoon and evening, the National Weather Service says.

Lightning likely caused house fire, other damage

Damage has been reported from the overnight storms, which brought loud bangs of thunder and frequent lightning (see the lightning map here).

Lightning is believed to have caused a house fire in Brooklyn Park, which was reported around 1 a.m. Monday. The family got out safely, while the fire destroyed the roof, attic and part of the second floor of the home, KSTP notes.

There were at least three other fires reported after lightning strikes in Hennepin County Monday morning, KSTP says. Trees were also damaged.

Storms swept through the northland Sunday, downing trees and knocking out power for thousands on the Iron Range, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Golf ball-sized hail was also reported in the area.

In other weather news, smoke and haze from the Canadian wildfires that hung over Minnesota for much of the holiday weekend is expected to return to northwestern Minnesota Monday, Forum News Service reports.

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