Storm Cleanup Underway, Rain Continues this Week in Soggy Minnesota

Updated: 06/17/2014 7:37 AM
Created: 06/16/2014 10:52 AM
By: Jennie Olson

The Twin Cities could be in for a stormy week.

KSTP Meteorologist Dave Dahl said we have a chance for strong-to-severe thunderstorms nearly every day this week.

"Unfortunately, that also means we have a chance for heavy rain nearly every day as well," he said. "Because the pattern isn't changing much this week, thunderstorms that do develop will travel over the same areas each day."

Monday's Storms

On Monday, there were reports of power outages and power poles down in parts of the Twin Cities metro.

As steady rain fell in the metro, Highway 218 in southern Minnesota was partially flooded, and backyards were under water near Owatonna. A semi also flipped on its side on Highway 218 near Austin, according to KSTP sister station ABC 6 News. High water was also reported near Hayfield.

The National Weather Service has a report of 3.5 inches of rain in Pipestone County. The Minnesota Department of Transportation says Highway 75 is closed about 10 miles north of Luverne because of water over the road.
A wind gust measuring 79 mph was reported in Jackson; hail estimated at an inch in diameter fell near Jackson, and tree branches are reported down.

Wisconsin Storms

Severe storms with dangerous winds tore roofs off houses in southern Wisconsin and blew down part of an elementary school, but there are no reports of serious injuries.          

Dane County emergency managers say there have been about 250 reports of storm damage, including 15 homes in Verona that sustained severe damage. The Salvation Army set up a shelter at Memorial Baptist Church for displaced Verona residents.          

Utility crews worked to restore power to thousands of people who lost service in the storms.          

The National Weather Service says a tornado likely moved from Green County into southern Dane County shortly after midnight Tuesday.          

At least five buildings were damaged on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville campus. Administrators say the university will be closed Tuesday and only essential employees should report to work.

Weekend Storms

Monday's storms come just after damaging winds and thunderstorms ripped through the Twin Cities over the weekend.

The storms dumped as much as 4 inches of rain at Luverne and Red Wing and packed wind gusts as high as 68 mph at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as they moved through in waves Saturday and early Sunday. The high wind blew down trees, capsized sailboats on Lake Minnetonka and knocked out power to more than 106,000 Xcel Energy customers.

Officials closed all four lanes of Interstate 90 from Luverne to the South Dakota border for several hours Sunday after nearly 4 feet of water covered the freeway. A flash flood also washed out a dam spillway at Blue Mounds State Park north of Luverne.

Gov. Mark Dayton planned to travel to the area Monday afternoon, but the trip has been postponed until Friday due to the weather. On Tuesday, he plans to travel to northern Minnesota. 

Flooding and Cleanup

More sandbagging is planned in the International Falls area to protect homes from rising waters on Rainy Lake and the Rainy River.

Koochiching County Sheriff's dispatcher Rich Rud said Monday that the water has risen to within 4 inches of the tops of the sandbag dikes and is expected to rise another foot.

The flooding has left many residents' docks under water, as well as docks at Voyageurs National Park. Authorities say a major sandbagging operation is under way on Lake Kabetogama.

The Department of Public Safety Homeland Security and Emergency Management division has activated the State Emergency Operations Center to help officials in southwestern and northern Minnesota.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Storm damage near 86th Street and Wentworth Avenue in Bloomington
Photo: Courtesy of Lisa Rudquist
Storm clouds in Montevideo
Photo: Viewer/Mike Huntley
This photo sent to us on Facebook shows down trees after a storm ripped through the Twin Cities on Saturday afternoon.
Photo: Facebook/Deborah Giampaolo-Masanz

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Broken Clouds
71° | 57°
  • Feels like: 52° F
  • Wind: 0mph
  • Humidity: 66%