Austin sees 1-1.5 in. of rain; High winds, tornadoes reported elsewhere

Published 10:21 am Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Heavy rainfall left standing water on many downtown streets around Austin Tuesday evening, but the brunt of a line of thunderstorms missed Mower County.

The line of storms passed through southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, dumping several inches of rain and kicking up strong winds.

The National Weather Service reports three tornadoes touched down in south-central Minnesota, but no major damage was reported.

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National Weather Service meteorologist Peter Rogers said rain was the primary feature of the storms in Austin and Mower County, as Austin received about 1 to 1.5 inches of rain.

Rogers said northeast Iowa received the heaviest rain, with 5.54 inches in Riceville, Iowa, where flash flooding caused roads to close and water in basements.

An estimated 2-3 inches of rain drenched several other cities in southern Minnesota, including Mankato, Lake Crystal, Madelia and Waseca.

The storms also brought some high winds, but no tornado touchdowns were reported in Mower. Wind speeds of 52 mph were reported in Stewartville, while Charles City, Iowa, reported 41 mph winds.

Rogers said the weather service considers 58 mph as severe wind speed and Tuesday’s wind speeds were sub-severe.

In Blue Earth County, authorities reported a tree toppled onto a house. Trees and branches also were knocked down in Watonwan County. A wind gust of 51 mph was reported about 10 miles south of Owatonna in Steele County.

There was some hail, sized about 1.75 inches, reported in Chickasaw County, Iowa, but there were no reports of it in Austin.

The National Weather Service indicated the Cedar River in Austin rose from 4.9 feet on Tuesday morning to 5.5 feet Wednesday morning, but it was well below the flood stage of 15 feet. In Lansing, the Cedar was expected to rise to about 14.6 feet on Wednesday, which was still well below the 18-foot flood stage.

Area rainfall totals

•Riceville, Iowa: 5.54 in.

•Houston: 2.83 in.

•Ionia, Iowa: 2.58 in.

•Austin: 1-1.5 in.

•Rochester: 1.41 in.

•St. Ansgar, Iowa: 0.79 in.

•Hayfield: 0.52 in.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.