Threat of heavy rains, flooding looming

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Austin missed the heaviest rains from a Labor Day storm system on Monday, but heavy rains could bring flooding to the area later today and tomorrow.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for Mower County and several other counties in the region until 1 a.m. Thursday as several rounds of showers and storms are expected to move through the area through Wednesday night.

The storms bring the potential for 2 to 3 inches of rain with localized amounts of 5 inches possible in localized spots, according to the weather service. That could make for quick flooding since soils are already moist from August rainfall.

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β€œThe potential exists for the rain to be quickly turned into runoff and produce flooding,” the NWS watch reads.

According to NWS meteorologists, some rains were possible Tuesday morning into the late afternoon, but the heaviest rains were expected to move through the area overnight.

Some storms could be severe and could produce an inch to 2 inches of rain an hour.

The Austin Wastewater Treatment Facility recorded 5.82 inches of rain in August β€” up from the normal 4.39 inches β€” with the heaviest being 2.45 inches on Aug. 24. For the year, Austin has received 32.44 inches of rain at the waster treatment facility, up from the normal 26.25 inches. The record high for a year was 38.61 in 1993.

Storms moved through area on Monday, dropping about 0.13 inches of rain in Austin with 1.23 inches at Rochester International Airport and 1.35 inches in St. Ansgar, Iowa.