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Thursday storms dump massive amounts of rain; I90 shut down, driving around Austin, county complicated

According to National Weather Service-La Crosse meteorologist Dan Jones, as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday storms dumped anywhere from 3 to 4 ½ inches of rain over the Austin and Mower County area over the previous 24 hours.

A car sits stranded at the intersection of Fourth Ave. and 16th Street SE as heavy rains caused several intersection in Austin to flood. ric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Flooding became an issue during the heavy rains, with the Austin Police Department advising people on its Facebook page to avoid traveling on Austin roads until the water had time to drain.

Flooding forced the closure of Interstate 90 in both directions from Sixth Street NE to Highway 56.

The Interstate was still closed by the time this paper was sent to print, with the Minnesota Department of Transportation estimating the closure would continue until about 10 p.m. on Thursday.

Throughout Austin, the rapidly rising waters caused localized flooding resulting in several vehicles being reported as stranded because they tried to drive through the water.

Vehicles creep along on Interstate 90 as flood waters rise due to heavy rain Thursday afternoon. Eric johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The flooding was just one aspect of a larger system that seemed to hover over southeast Minnesota Thursday, creating several watches and warnings, including both flood watches and warnings and a tornado watch.

A vehicle sprays water as it drives through rising waters over Eighth St. NE Thursday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Early Thursday afternoon, per scanner traffic, spotters were called out in Austin, Lyle and Adams. Radar indicated rotation was reported by the NWS between Austin and Lyle though nothing came of it.

For more visit www.austindailyherald.com as more information becomes available.