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State activates emergency ops center; Dayton postpones flood visit

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State officials have activated an emergency operations center to assist residents in southwestern and northern Minnesota respond to damage from severe storms.

Operations center staffers are also monitoring severe weather forecasts for Monday, which call for possible tornadoes, hail and high winds in southern Minnesota, forecasters say. A tornado watch is in effect for parts of the state until 8 p.m.

Gov. Mark Dayton had planned to visit Luverne and Edgerton in southwestern Minnesota Monday afternoon, but he's putting off that trip until Friday because of the threat of more severe weather in that area, the Star Tribune reports. Instead, he will speak to local officials by phone Monday. Dayton will travel to International Falls on Tuesday to survey flood damage there.

Luverne was flooded in part because the swollen Rock River washed out a dam spillway in nearby Blue Mounds State Park, KELO TV reported.

Meanwhile, state officials say:

  • In Rock County, local officials are conducting damage assessments in 12 township and county roads after high water deluged areas and forced the closure of Interstate 90, which reopened after six to eight hours Sunday.
  • In Pipestone County, more than 6 inches of rain fell, causing flooded roads in Edgerton and the closure of the CSAH 1 Bridge at the Rock County/Pipestone County line.
  • In Koochiching County, sandbagging continued Monday to protect homes, businesses and water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities from the rising Rainy Lake and Rainy River, and the Little Fork and Big Fork rivers.
  • In St. Louis County, sandbagging is underway to protect homes and businesses from the swollen Bratt Brook River.

In the Twin Cities, weekend storms caused local waterways to swell, and power went out to more than 100,000 customers, although most service was restored by Monday morning, the Star Tribune reported.

2014 has been the second-wettest year on record for the Twin Cities and much of Minnesota, and more rain is on the way this week.

After weekend rain, Lake Minnetonka is back near record levels, KSTP reported.

In the metro, there is at least a chance of thunderstorms every day this week, the National Weather Service says.

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