Windy, wet weekend kicks off rainy week; severe storms possible Monday


High winds and heavy downpours hit much Minnesota on Saturday and early Sunday, causing power outages and downing trees and power lines – which was just the start of a week of wet weather.

People in the Twin Cities got a respite from the rain Sunday afternoon as skies dried out and the sun shined. Sun and temperatures in the 80s are expected Monday in the Twin Cities, the National Weather Service says, but rain, along with the chance of severe weather including the possibility of tornadoes, returns Monday evening.

Severe weather is possible Monday through Wednesday, with the threat of flooding continuing as well. Although, as the work week progresses, the flood threat will transition from a flash flood risk to an increased risk for main stem river flooding by next weekend, the weather service says.

Several more inches of rain is expected over the next week, which comes on top of the couple inches most areas picked up over the weekend.

Rainfall totals varied from this weekend's storm. From Saturday to Sunday, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported a 24-hour total of 2.19 inches, with 2.21 inches in Eden Prairie, 2.92 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, 1.40 inches in Rochester and 3.35 inches in Jackson, Minnesota, according to MPR News' Updraft blog.

Emergency management officials in Luverne, Minnesota, issued a no travel advisory for all of Rock County, located in western Minnesota, Sunday morning because numerous roads were flooded and travel was nearly impossible.

Water up to 4 feet deep covered Interstate 90 in Luverne, but when water receded officials were able to reopen it around 8:30 a.m., KELO reports.

There were also reports of flooding in the International Falls area. KSTP reports sandbagging was underway Sunday afternoon because of rising waters on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River.

Whipping winds reaching 68 mph caused power outages across the Twin Cities Saturday. Xcel Energy reported more than 106,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm. Power had been restored to all but around 8,000 customers as of 1 p.m. Sunday, WCCO reports. You can see which areas are without power on Xcel’s power outage map.

“It felt almost like a tropical storm,” National Weather Service meteorologist Michelle Margraf told the Star Tribune of the afternoon storm absent of any thunder or lightning. “Usually you don’t get winds like that out of showers.”

FOX 9 reports some boaters on Lake Minnetonka had to be rescued after the wind capsized several sailboats that were participating in a regatta on the lake Saturday morning. All the racers were safe, event officials said.

The wind also caused problems for sailboats at Lake Nokomis:

Wind also affected flights at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Saturday afternoon. For a brief time, takeoff and landing was stopped at the airport. Most travel has resumed to normal, but airport officials advise travelers to check with their airlines for status updates.

A fire chief in St. Cloud believes lighting sparked a fire that destroyed the Roosevelt Early Childhood Center over the weekend, according to the St. Cloud Times.

Thunder and lighting made its way into the metro area Saturday night as more rain fell across the state.

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