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Storm floods roads, drops near-record rain on central Minnesota

24 June 2022

An overnight rainstorm Thursday deluged central Minnesota, dropping nickel-sized hail and producing wind gusts of 55 mph.

The storm dropped 4.44 inches of rain at St. Cloud State University, university meteorology professor Bob Weisman said. That’s the second-highest amount since daily rainfall observations began in 1991; the record is 4.48 inches set Sept. 5-6, 2002.

The region’s highest reported totals, which are measured by rain gauges and not radar, ranged from 4-6 inches, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Taggart.

“That was basically from St. Cloud to Sartell, Sauk Rapids and St. Joseph — that general area,” he said.

Radar estimates showed 5-7 inches of rain fell near Randall — about 10 miles northwest of Little Falls and 45 miles northwest of St. Cloud — and washed out both lanes of Hwy 10.

Taggart said high water forced the evacuation of about 30 people near Little Elk River in Randall. Flooding also closed roads near Brainerd, and the storm knocked out power to several homes in the St. Cloud area.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest rain fell from 1 to 2 a.m., when the St. Cloud Regional Airport reported 1.18 inches.

Streets in St. Cloud, Waite Park and Sartell flooded as storm drains failed to keep up with the downpour, said Erin Tufte, director of Stearns County Emergency Management.

“One of the most complicated situations this morning was the holding pond on 33rd Avenue South and Second Street by Costco overflowed,” Tufte said. “So for a period this morning, Second Street South, 33rd Avenue and three blocks of Division Street were closed because the water backed up onto the roads.”

Temperatures Friday in St. Cloud were expected to reach the low 90s, with showers or thunderstorms possible later in the day.

“We’re going to keep our fingers crossed we don’t get any more rain tonight,” Tufte said.

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