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Heat advisory and flood warning issued for Southeast Minnesota

The National Weather Service issued two severe weather alerts following forecasts of extreme heat and thunderstorms through Wednesday, June 15.

Flash Floods
Vehicles drive through a flooded area on Monday, June 13, 2022, along 11th Avenue and Second Street Northeast in Rochester, Minnesota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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ROCHESTER — Southeast Minnesota will see a bout of severe weather early in the week starting June 13.

The National Weather Service in La Crosse, Wisconsin, issued a flood watch in Dodge, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona counties until 7 p.m. on Monday, June 13. This is followed with a heat advisory Tuesday, June 14, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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According to Todd Shae, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, this weather is typical for this time of year although it's coming about a little later than usual this summer.

“We are kind of into that time of year with bouts of hot weather and the storms that come with it,” Shae said. “We are just urging people to be careful with the storms.”

The storms seen in Southeast Minnesota are expected to slowly diminish throughout the day Monday as the storm moves east into Wisconsin. There is a 0% chance of rain from 6 p.m. through the night on Monday.

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Areas experiencing heavy storms can expect to see about 1-2 inches of rain and localized flooding is possible, according to a report from the National Weather Service.

Flash Floods
Vehicles drive through a flooded area on Monday, June 13, 2022, along 11th Avenue and Second Street Northeast in Rochester, Minnesota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

The heaviest bout of rain is forecasted to take place before 3 p.m and the National Weather Service is advising people to stay aware of the weather and seek indoor shelter in areas with approaching storms while the flood watch is in effect.

The National Weather Service also advises people to be prepared in the case of flash flooding. Some impacts of Monday’s storms could be flooding in streams and other low-lying, flood-prone locations.

Kelly Lee, the deputy director of Olmsted County emergency management, was on call for weather watch on Monday, June 13. Lee said he was not aware of any damages or road closures from flooding that came from storms on Monday morning.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Monday afternoon for the Middle Fork of the Whitewater River near the Whitewater State Park in Winona County. According to the warning, the flooding around the river is minor and the flood warning for this area will be in effect into Tuesday morning on June 14.

As a precaution, the National Weather Services recommends motorists do not try to drive through flooded or barricaded roads. The next update on the flood warning is expected to come at 2 a.m. on Tuesday.

Flash Floods
Vehicles drive through a flooded area on Monday, June 13, 2022, along 11th Avenue and Second Street Northeast in Rochester, Minnesota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

In cases of extreme weather, emergency management stays in communication with the National Weather Service to get an accurate forecast so the county can decide whether or not any additional resources will be needed in the city, according to Lee.

While the storms are expected to clear up Monday night, they will return on Wednesday with about a 70% chance of rain and thunderstorms through the day.

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According to Shae, Tuesday, June 14 will be the worst day heat-wise with an expected heat index of up to 105. People who are supposed to work outdoors or have outdoor activities scheduled for Tuesday should be cautious of the heat, and the National Weather Service recommends people take frequent breaks in a shaded or air-conditioned area if they have to work outside.

The most important thing with Tuesday’s heat is to check in on your neighbors and any pets that might be outside during the day, Lee said. Other than that, people should stay hydrated, keep inside if they can and make sure to not have any long exposures to the heat.

To save electricity while temperatures are high, Xcel Energy recommends people keep blinds or curtains closed to keep heat out, make sure all outside doors are completely closed and use a ceiling fan first over air conditioning because it uses less energy.

For more updates about the flooding and heat, visit www.weather.gov/lacrosse .

Bella Carpentier is a journalism and political science student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMN-TC). She is currently the managing editor of the student-run paper at UMN-TC, the Minnesota Daily. While reporting for the Minnesota Daily, she covered student activism and issues affecting the university's student body. Working for the Post Bulletin, Bella hopes to build community connections and advance her reporting skills. Readers can reach Bella at bcarpentier@postbulletin.com.
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