Flooding prompts state of emergency declaration in 35 Minn. coun - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Flooding prompts state of emergency declaration in 35 Minn. counties


ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Gov. Mark Dayton has declared a state of emergency in 35 Minnesota counties.

Olmsted, Dodge, Mower and Freeborn are among the counties included in the declaration.

In Albert Lea, Highway 65 is closed between Garfield Avenue and Newton Avenue. Recent heavy rains have completely submerged the highway making it unsafe for drivers to pass. The water is nearly a foot deep in some areas.

Area businesses plan to stay open during normal business hours. If you're caught driving on a closed road, you will face a fine.

The city of Albert Lea is also asking its residents to limit water usage. Albert Lea officials say the city is dealing with sewage back ups.

The Albert Lea Salvation Army has cleanup kits for anyone who ends up with sewer problems.

In Austin, the Cedar River, Turtle Creek and Dobbins Creek all flooded. Water spilled into yards and parks, filling picnic shelters and play sets.

In Minneapolis, heavy rains caused a mudslide Thursday night near the University of Minnesota Medical Center's West Bank facility. The hillside along the Mississippi River is saturated, causing a 100-yard swath of land to collapse onto a road and the river below.

About 20 workers in a nearby administrative building were evacuated as a precaution. Authorities say no patients were affected.

Officials said historic rains are causing problems throughout the Twin Cities. People created sandbag barriers as the rising water from the Minnehaha Creek inched closer to their homes on Thursday.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Hennepin County sheriff officials recommended people stay off the lakes and rivers in the county until the water levels go down.

In International Falls, Gov. Dayton has called on the Minnesota National Guard to send 100 soldiers to aid in the flood response.

Hundreds of public and private docks were destroyed on Rainy Lake. Many homes and cabins along the lake have been flooded.

The International Falls area is experiencing its wettest June since record keeping began in 1895. Rainy Lake is predicted to rise at least another foot in the coming weeks.

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