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Southern Minnesota braces for possible tornadoes, flooding

September 4, 2018

Mankato and surrounding areas in south-central Minnesota were bracing for possible flooding Tuesday night, while counties in the southeast corner of the state were on the lookout for tornadoes.

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen issued a tornado watch in several Minnesota counties until 10 p.m. They are: Dodge, Fairbault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca and Winona.

Meanwhile other areas of the state, from south central Minnesota into west central Wisconsin, have the potential for flash flooding.

Thunderstorms will likely train over the same areas for at least a few hours, leading to rapid accumulation of rainfall. Areas within the Flash Flood Watch have a high likelihood of 2 to 4 inches of rain through tonight, which may result in flash flooding, the service said.

Mike Griesinger, a meteorologist with the NWS, said they expect 8-plus inches in some areas of south central Minnesota, beginning around 6 p.m. Mankato was cited as one area that could take the brunt of it, through Goodhue County and over the Chippewa Falls. Griesinger said no flooding has been reported yet.

We are going to have, I call it the fire hose, coming up around the 6 to 11 p.m. time frame, he said. Where that ends up determines where the flash flood threat is.

It could hit the city of Blue Earth in Faribault County (home of the Jolly Green Giant statue), up toward Red Wing. Owatonna, Waseca, and possibly Rochester and Wabasha as well, Griesinger said.

It certainly look like some folks could see 7 to 8 inches of rain, coming in heavy bursts this evening before midnight, he said.

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