Southwestern Minnesota Deals With Flooding, 3 Counties Declare State of Emergency

July 03, 2018 11:21 PM

 MnDOT announced late Tuesday night that the roads in southern Minnesota were opened to traffic at about 10:20 p.m. 

A powerful downpour has washed out roads and flooded basements in southwestern Minnesota.


Lyon, Redwood and Murray counties were dealing with headaches Tuesday after an estimated 6 to 8 inches of rain fell overnight in some places.

Because of the rain, Renville, Lyon and Pipestone counties declared a state of emergency, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

RELATED: MnDOT Warns of Flooding on Southern Minnesota Roads; Water Still High on St. Croix

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed highways in some flooded areas and warned travelers about the threat of moving water sweeping away vehicles.

Sgt. Eric Wallen of the Lyon County Sheriff's Office says some vehicles have been trapped by the rising waters. He said many home basements have taken in water.

The National Weather Service said up to eight inches of rain had fallen from Redwood Falls to Lucan.

As a comparison, KSTP Chief Morning Meteorologist Ken Barlow said, on average during summer months, Minnesota sees roughly 4 inches of rain per month.

Parts of southern Minnesota saw up to 9 inches of rain in eight hours.

The Redwood River was rushing Tuesday evening, taking down trees and flooding the stone bridge in Ramsey Park.

“I’ve never seen this,” said Ron Pape, who takes his young daughter to the park often. “That’s why I had to come down here, I’ve never seen water over here.”

He and more than a dozen other people stopped by to take pictures of the high water.

Beth and Richard Rasche are from Fairmont, MN and visited Redwood Falls to celebrate the Fourth of July.

“It’s just heart-wrenching knowing that this is flooded like this,” Richard said. “It will probably take forever for it to recede to be able to assess the damages caused by all of this rain.”

About seven miles away in Morton, neighbors were dealing with flooding, which covered roadways and forced at least one woman from her home.


Associated Press/KSTP/Callan Gray

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