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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Storms bring down branches, cause flooding

  • Over the weekend inclement weather caused the postponement of the dedication of Veterans Park until July 4 at 7 p.m.
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  • Over the weekend and early into the week, strong winds and heavy rains caused branches and trees to come down and rivers to rise to flood stage.
    Inclement weather also caused the cancellation or postponement of various events around the area.
    On Saturday, June 14, the Sleepy Eye Honor Guard together with the Economic Development Authority (EDA) planned a special program to dedicate Veteran’s Park and retire flags.
    High winds and heavy rains that day postponed the ceremony until July 4 at 7 p.m.
    According to the National Weather Service, local law enforcement officials reported flooding in the New Ulm and Sleepy Eye areas including the Minnesota River, Huelskamp Creek, Cottonwood River, Swan Lake Outlet, Little Cottonwood River and Fritsche Creek.
    An estimated two to six inches of rain fell overnight June 17-18, which has led to numerous flooded roads and rising rivers and streams. The National Weather Service cautioned that it will take time for flooded areas to receded. More rain is possible this evening (June 18) and widespread thunderstorm activity is predicted to continue through Thursday night, including the possibility of severe storms.
    On Monday, June 16, a flood warning was issued for the Cottonwood River due to the rainfall over the weekend and additional rainfall during the week. The flood warning continues into Friday afternoon (June 20).
    According to the National Weather Service, the Cottonwood River in New Ulm was at 10.6 feet on Monday and minor flooding was forecasted. After the rainfall overnight, the flood stage on the Cottonwood River at 6 a.m. Wednesday (June 18) was 12.4 feet with flood stage occurring at 11 feet. The river is forecasted to crest around 12.5 feet this afternoon. At 13 feet floodwaters begin to impact Cottonwood Street in New Ulm west of the river.
    The National Weather Service is forecasting another round of thunderstorms that will develop late this afternoon and persist into tonight (June 18). The main threats from this activity will be large hail and damaging winds mainly across south central Minnesota. In addition, heavy rainfall is expected with this activity, which will lead to a continued threat for flash flooding.
    By the weekend, chances of rain taper off and highs are expected to be in the 80s.
    Far northern Minnesota has been one of the spots hit hardest by the spring rain. Gov. Mark Dayton headed to the area Tuesday to check out flooding. The spring snow melt already raised lake and river levels along the U.S.-Canadian border.
    Heavy rains over the weekend made the problem worse along Rainy Lake and Rainy River. Voyageurs National Park has also closed campsites because the docks and boat launches are under water.
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