Heavy rains, high winds pound southern Minnesota


A line of severe storms marched across southern Minnesota Monday evening, bringing heavy rains, hail and winds up to 60 mph to areas that were already waterlogged.

The powerful weather system also spawned strong storms in parts of Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska, where two tornadoes touched down at the same time within a mile of each other, causing major damage to one small town.

A host of warnings for severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, high winds and flooding were issued for southern Minnesota over the course of the evening as the storms continued to move eastward.

The National Weather Service has a map and list of all the latest watches and warnings, which is updated in real time.

Southwestern Minnesota, which is already seeing flooding from heavy rains over the weekend, was hit again. Three inches or more fell in that area Monday evening, according to MPR meteorologist Paul Huttner.

Many roads and streets are impassable due to flooding in Pipestone, Rock, Blue Earth, Waseca and Watanwon counties. Trees and power lines have toppled, and power outages are reported in various communities.

The storm knocked out power to Mower County's 911 emergency center, which is located in Austin. Dispatching was re-routed to neighboring Freeborn County, according to MPR.

These twin tornadoes were captured on video earlier this evening by storm chasers in Nebraska.

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One of the twisters did major damage to the town of Pilger, Nebraska, the Argus Leader reports. Local officials say one person is dead and many others are injured.

Heavy rains caused severe flooding on streets in parts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota Monday afternoon, according to the Argus Leader, and some car windows where shattered by golf ball-sized hail and high winds, the National Weather Service reports.

Warm temperatures and humidity are expected for the rest of the week, which means we could see more heavy rain and severe weather through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service says. Two to 4 more inches of rain is expected to fall by Friday.

Because of the already saturated soil conditions from the recent rainy weather, much of this week’s rainfall is expected to run off into the already swollen river basins. River flooding is expected along the Crow River, Redwood River and Sauk River, while flooding is possible along the Mississippi River and Minnesota River. Urban areas and small streams could also see flooding, the weather service notes.

The Twin Cities have received 5.73 inches of rain so far this June. If the metro gets 2 more inches of rain this month, it’ll crack the top 10 for wettest Junes on record, WCCO notes. The wettest June on record is 11.67 inches in 1874, the news station says.

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