Flood warnings, watches continue through evening, wind advisory too
WILLMAR — The National Weather Service is urging citizens to stay tuned to weather information as flood warnings have been issued for many rivers in southern and central Minnesota.
The forecast calls for as much as 1 to 2 more inches of rain to fall tonight on areas that received 6 to 7 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, pushing river levels even higher.
The localized forecast for Willmar says that showers and thunderstorms are likely after 4 p.m. The storms could produce heavy rainfall. However, the expected new precipitation is between a quarter and a half of an inch.
West central Minnesota is also in an advisory for wind, as gusty east winds are expected to reach 40 mph. With the saturated ground conditions, trees could be pushed over much more easily. Those venturing outside are urged to be very careful.
As of noon, there was a flash flood watch issued for the northeastern portion of Kandiyohi County, the northern half of Meeker County and the northwestern portion of Wright County.
The watch is in effect through tonight and there is the possibility that thunderstorms will generate more rain on already highly saturated soils, leading to flash flooding.
The current flood warning includes the eastern portion of Yellow Medicine County, all of Renville County and the northern portion of Redwood County, plus the east-central portion of the state including the Twin Cities area.
The warning raises the impact of flooding from minor to moderate on the Minnesota River at Montevideo. As of 11 a.m. today, the stage was 15.3 feet and flood stage is 14 feet.
The forecast calls for the river to rise to 16.6 feet by Saturday afternoon before the levels begin to fall. At 17 feet, storm sewers may need to be plugged to prevent water from backing up into the streets, according to the Weather Service.
The Redwood River is expected to crest at 8.2 feet by Friday afternoon. Flood stage is 6 feet on the river and the flooding impact will be on low-lying farmland and roads along the river.