Flood watch issued for much of Minnesota as heavy rain expected

Heavy and persistent rain expected over the next two days has raised concerns about flooding, and the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for most of Minnesota, in effect until late Tuesday night.

By the weekend, some areas of the state could receive more than 6 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said.

"Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations," the weather service said. "Be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued."

A flood watch covers counties stretching from the Canadian border to as far south as the Twin Cities, Mankato, Albert Lea and Fairmont.

One flood warning was in effect Monday along the South Fork Crow River in Delano in Wright County and in Mayer in Carver County.

County Hwy. 123 between Watertown and Mayer is closed due to flooding, the Carver County Public Works Department said.

Motorists should not attempt to drive around barricades or drive cars through flooded areas, the weather service said.

Under Minnesota law, motorists driving around barricades can be fined up to $1,000 and receive up to 90 days in jail.

"Most flood deaths occur in vehicles," the National Weather Service said.

Rain remains in the forecast every day through Sunday, and the moisture "will lead to worsening river flooding," the weather service said.

In Minneapolis, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed the Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam until further notice. The closure was due to "electrical issues" with the dam's fourth gate, according to a statement.

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