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Flooding possible after heavy snow, rain in northeastern MN

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Snow that started falling across the Northland Wednesday, causing power outages and prompting schools to close, is expected to taper off this morning – but some Minnesotans could face upcoming flooding problems.

About 8.7 inches had come down by the National Weather Service Duluth station as of 1 a.m., not quite 24 hours after the storm first moved in.

A winter storm warning was in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday, with weather officials noting there could be "extremely hazardous" travel conditions.

The National Weather Service says people in the Twin Ports and along the south shore of Lake Superior can expect snow to continue through Thursday morning. By the time it ends, forecasters say 12 to 18 inches could be on the ground in an area from Bemidji and the Iron Range through the Twin Ports and up the north and south shores of Lake Superior.

Some areas have only seen rain. That's because warm air coming off the lake changed the snow to rain along part of the Duluth shoreline and in Superior, FOX 21 meteorologist Gino Recchia wrote on Facebook.

Flood warnings issued

And now flooding becomes a concern for some residents.

Here's the National Weather Service's current look at warnings in the region (click to go the service's actual page, with the most updated info).

The green areas are flood-related.

There's a flood warning issued for the St. Louis River at Scanlon, affecting Carlton County (the brighter green just south of Hbbing).

Rain of 1-4 inches was observed upstream, and the river has gone up 3 feet in the past day, the stage measuring in at 9.9 feet late Wednesday. Because of that, they're expecting it to crest into "minor flood stage," possibly as early as Thursday afternoon (flood stage is 10.5 feet).

Then there's the flood watch for the Mississippi River at Aitkin, affecting Aitkin and Crow Wing counties. That rain upstream could lead to some minor flooding in the area. Wednesday afternoon the stage was at 9.4 feet – flood stage is 13 feet, and it could crest above that by Saturday afternoon.

All the precipitation also forced the Minnesota Department of Transportation to close a section of Interstate 35 in Duluth because there was standing water through the tunnels, the Duluth News Tribune reports. Though it did reopen late Wednesday.

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