USA – Floods Prompt 3 Minnesota Counties to Declare Emergency

Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) says that three southern Minnesota counties have declared a state of emergency as flooding caused by torrential rains washed out roads and damaged property.

Storms rolled through many parts of the state during the morning of 03 July, and heavy rain caused flash flooding in several Minnesota counties. Currie in Murray County recorded 8.61 inches (218.7 mm) and Ghent, Lyon County, 6.5 inches (165.1mm).

The counties of Renvillle, Lyon and Pipestone have signed state of emergency declarations. HSEM said, “If you live in these counties, please avoid flooded areas.”

Around 100 campers and campsite staff were evacuated from areas around Lake Shetek in Murray County. Flooding in the county has blocked Highway 59.

The West Fork Des Moines River near Avoca in Murray County is at record levels and stood at 1,430.03 feet as of 05 July, above major flood stage of 1,428 feet.

HSEM said their regional program coordinators are still on the ground in southern Minnesota working with local officials to address any requests for state assistance. The water in several counties is still rising following torrential rains that have taken aim on southern Minnesota. HSEM will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide assistance as requested.

West Fork Des Moines River near Avoca. Image: NWS / NOAA
Flooded road in Minnesota, 03 July 2018. Photo: HSEM

Continued Flooding in Iowa and South Dakota

As well as Minnesota, flooding has affected neighbouring parts of Iowa and South Dakota over the last few weeks. As many as 27 counties have declared an emergency in Iowa. A train was derailed by flooding near Doon, Lyon County, Iowa, and an estimated 230,000 gallons (870,619 litres) of crude oil spilled into floodwaters on 22 June.

A storm on 30 June, 2018, left at least 1 person dead and caused major damage in Des Moines.