Record-setting rainfall caused the Minnesota Department of Transportation to fire up its snowplows to move standing water off major thoroughfares. As much as 8 to 10 inches of rain inundated the Twin Cities area Wednesday night with more rain forecast for Thursday.
Vehicles floated through intersections in several Twin Cities suburbs, including Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. In downtown Minneapolis, the Minnesota Twins baseball game was delayed Wednesday night due to rain and then rescheduled for 1:10 p.m. Thursday, when it will be the first game in a split doubleheader.
About 75 miles to the south, several homes were evacuated in Waseca where nearly 14 inches of rain fell over two days, according to the National Weather Services. Classes were canceled Thursday in Waseca and several other school districts because of flooded roads.
The southern Minnesota city of Faribault has declared a state of emergency as it works to hold back the Cannon and Straight Rivers.
The Faribault Daily News reports that a large sandbagging operation was launched Thursday morning to protect the Faribault Woolen Mill, a popular tourism destination, while crews were building a berm at the Caves of Faribault, which are known for their award-winning, cave-aged blue cheeses.
About 5 inches of rain fell overnight in Faribault. Numerous roads remain closed in the area.
Nearby Northfield is also bracing for flooding. Last month, the Cannon River flooded parts of the Carleton College campus. Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson says he's been telling businesses to prepare for flood levels they last saw in 2010.
The water was maybe ankle deep when Glen Steberg went into his barn along the Zumbro River in the southern Minnesota town of Wanamingo around 7:30 a.m.
But an hour later Thursday morning, his son and their neighbor were chest-deep in dark, cold water, rescuing six calves and maybe a dozen steers.
Steberg tells the Post-Bulletin of Rochester the water wasn't all that deep in the barn, but to get the calves to safety, they had to go through the cow yard, where the water was chest-high.
Neighbor Logan DeWitz says the calves had to swim like dogs.
Steberg says this was the fastest he'd ever seen the Zumbro rise. The river was dropping by 11 a.m., so he says he's out of danger for now.