MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - A line of storms dumped heavy rains across the Twin Cities metro area Wednesday evening. Rain totals released Monday show just short of 10 inches of rain fell in parts of the community.
Motorists saw serious flash flooding around I-494 and I-694 in the northwest metro. In fact, eastbound lanes of I-94 were closed for part of the morning rush hour Thursday as they were submerged.
The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office sent out a news release about their busy evening of responding to calls of severe flooding at many intersections and residential basements, particularly in the Maple Grove area.
Several rounds of heavy rainfall are expected late Wednesday into Thursday morning.
Flash flood watches went into effect Wednesday afternoon for the Twin Cities metro area, southeastern Minnesota and parts of southwestern Wisconsin.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office provided safety tips for driving during a flood:
• Flood advisory – forecasted weather conditions may lead to flooding that will cause inconveniences but will probably not be bad enough to issue a warning; appropriate caution to stay safe in these situations is required
• Flood watch – flooding may not necessarily occur but conditions are more likely to lead to a flood
• Flood warning – flooding is forthcoming or already occurring
• Flash flood warning – a flash flood is forthcoming or already occurring
• Flash flood - usually caused by heavy rainfall or the collapse of a dam or levee, a flash flood is dangerous flooding of a flood-prone area in less than six hours
During a flood
• Stay informed by watching the weather on the local news or listening on a radio
• If a flash flood is imminent, move to higher ground as soon as possible because dangerous conditions can arise in a matter of minutes
• Stay off the road during a flood. Six inches of water can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, and twelve inches of water will float most cars
• Be careful where you walk in flooded conditions because six inches of moving water is enough to knock over an adult
• Use a stick or long pole to test the ground in front of you
• Do not enter rooms where outlets or electrical cords are submerged as there is a possibility of being electrocuted
Driving During a Flood
Stay off the road during a flood. 50% of all drownings related to floods occur when people drive vehicles into dangerous flood waters
“Road closed” signs are in place for your protection, and ignoring them is hazardous
Six inches of water can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles, and two feet of water will float almost any vehicle, including pickup trucks and SUVs .
Roadways that are flooded may be concealed and difficult to navigate. Once flood waters have receded, roads may be damaged and can collapse under the weight of a vehicle.
After a flood
• Flood waters can continue dangerous chemicals and toxins, so avoid flood waters
• Make sure that water is safe before using it. After a flood, it is common for a boil water mandate to be put into place
• Contact loved ones to tell them that you are safe and to make sure they are safe as well
• If you had to evacuate, don’t return home until authorities say it is safe
• Stay off of flooded roads and out of disaster areas and do not ignore “road closed” signs
• Be cautious in buildings that were flooded as the foundation can be damaged or weakened