Flash Flood Watch Set to Expire Early Tuesday

October 03, 2017 07:23 AM

Heavy rains Monday evening brought the prospect of flash flooding for a diagonal swath of Minnesota more than 100 miles wide stretching from the southwestern corner of the state to the Arrowhead.

A flash flood watch, which included more than 30 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, was set to expire Tuesday morning. As rain tapers Tuesday, cloudy skies were expected to prevail before temperatures begin to fall at the start of a cool front. 


The National Weather Service Twin Cities said mid-evening Monday that a flash flood watch had been expanded slightly to the east to include the entire metro area, Mankato and Polk County, Wisconsin. Rain was expected to persist overnight, with the heaviest rainfall occurring on a line from New Ulm, northeast to the Twin Cities and continuing northeast to Rush City and Taylors Falls.

The expanded watch included the counties of Washington, Scott, Dakota, Le Sueur, Blue Earth, Martin and Polk, in addition to the counties previously included in a watch issued mid-afternoon Monday, the weather service says.

At one point, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport received an inch of rain within an hour. By late Monday, it had gauged 2 inches total, KSTP Chief Meteorologist Dave Dahl said.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms coming from parts of Nebraska and northwest Iowa prompted the advisory. Those storms were expected to continue developing across that diagonal line through Monday evening and the overnight hours, the weather service says. 

Three- to 4 inches of rain was expected along that strip from New Ulm to Taylors Falls, the weather service said in an update Monday evening.

Rain was also heavy from an area near Redwood Falls and northeast to Cambridge, including parts of the metro.

Two- to 3-inches of rainfall was expected along that corridor, and the weather services says a few places could see more than 4 inches.

Gov. Mark Dayton last week announced his office had authorized nearly $700,000 in disaster relief for Redwood and Renville counties following severe storms in the area Aug. 16.

Portions of northeastern Minnesota were expected to receive between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall, according to the weather service in Duluth. Roads could flood in the area overnight, and the weather service is warning drivers during that time to “be especially vigilant.” 

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The watch covered portions of southwest, south-central, central, east-central and northeast Minnesota, covering a multitude of counties, including the most-populous of Anoka, Hennepin, Ramsey and St. Louis, as well as the Interstate 35 corridor.

For a full list of counties affected by the flash flood warning, click here.

A cold front is expected to move into the state behind the rainfall, Dahl said.

Meanwhile, the weather service in Aberdeen on Monday afternoon issued a flash flood warning for small streams in east-central Traverse County in western Minnesota. That warning was triggered by gauge site readings on 12 Mile Creek that had risen to near or above flood stage after rainfall Sunday night and early Monday.

Any potential flooding in that area was expected to affect mostly rural areas in east-central Traverse County. 

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Michael Oakes

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