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Heavy rainfall floods roads in western Wisconsin, Twin Cities

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Rainfall that could total 9 inches since midnight closed several roads in west-central Wisconsin and the Twin Cities early Monday.

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- Rainfall that could total 9 inches since midnight closed several roads in west-central Wisconsin and the Twin Cities early Monday.

The National Weather Service, which issued a flood warning, said emergency services personnel in southern St. Croix County and northern Pierce County reported roads under water.

Also under a flood warning were all of Dunn and Chippewa counties and northern Eau Claire County in Wisconsin. Some minor flooding was reported.

The center of the heavy rainfall was the River Falls area, which is in both St. Croix and Pierce counties. Also affected were Hudson, Prescott, North Hudson, Ellsworth, Baldwin, Hammond, Roberts, Spring Valley and Woodville areas.

The area is along Interstate 94 just inside Wisconsin from the Twin Cities.

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In River Falls, 6 inches was reported just before 6 a.m., with some water retention basins filling to capacity, the weather service reported.

The weather service reported 5 inches to 7 inches of rain had fallen in the River Falls area by about 5:30 a.m., with up to 2 inches more expected through the morning. Rain was to end in the afternoon and the sun could appear before sunset.

In the Twin Cities, thunderstorms that brought the heavy rain were blamed for more than 2,000 homes losing electricity overnight.

Twin Cities traffic officials reported flooded roadways  in places, but by the time rush hour started, rain was ending in the western part of the metropolitan area. Even some major roads were affected, including Interstate 494 near the Minnesota River bridge, where standing water affected traffic.

Most of east central, south central and southwest Minnesota was under a flash flood watch until noon. The weather service said that means low-lying areas and places near creeks and streams, as well as urban locations, were susceptible to floods with little notice.

Twin Cities television stations reported some accidents were caused by heavy rains and traffic was moving slower than usual.

The weather service reported that while western Wisconsin was receiving up to 2 inches of rain per hour, totals were lighter elsewhere around the Twin Cities. Downtown Minneapolis, for instance, had 2.3 inches and Hastings a bit over 3 inches by 7 a.m.

The average July rainfall for the Twin Cities is about 4 inches.

Related Topics: WEATHER
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