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Several Minnesota counties are underwater in anticipation of heavy rain

A significant portion of Minnesota is under warning by the National Weather Service of heavy rain this week that could lead to flooding across the state.

After what has become a wet spring for parts of the state, a series of additional heavy rains expected in about half of the state has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a flood warning for Tuesday’s rain event.

The flood watch is in effect Tuesday morning for the areas marked in green on the map below. The flood watch is in effect until late Tuesday evening for southern parts of the state, while it will be in effect until Wednesday morning for the northern half of the state.

The National Weather Service expects 2 to 3 inches or more of rain across a significant portion of Minnesota, which could lead to the worst impacts near creeks, streams, rivers and other low-lying and flood-prone areas.

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is warning of a risk of “excessive rainfall” for Tuesday, shown in the yellow highlighted area on the map below – which extends over almost all of Minnesota, western Wisconsin and part of northeastern Iowa .

This system, which will bring heavy rain, will also bring the risk of severe storms to parts of the region. In the latest update from NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, a marginal risk of severe storms, indicated in dark green, extends across central Minnesota, including areas like St. Cloud and Duluth.

Greater risks can be found as you head toward southern Minnesota and Wisconsin, where damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes are more likely.

Rain is expected to continue Tuesday night and Wednesday, with a reprieve for Thursday.

As a reminder, the National Weather Service urges people to be aware of flood safety. Of the most important flood tips, you should never drive onto a flooded road because you don’t know if the road is safe under water or has been washed away and could be dangerous. Here are more tips from the National Weather Service.

Jay Cooke flood damage of 2012

A photo tour of flood-damaged Jay Cooke State Park, showing the swinging bridge and damage to Highway 210 sustained during the June 19-20, 2012 flood.

Gallery credits: Nick Cooper – TSM Duluth