Heavy Rainfall - First Half of June 2008
Frequent and heavy rainfall during the first half of June 2008 plagued the Midwest with devastating urban flooding, disastrous agricultural impacts, and major impediments for the transportation. Although the most stricken states were Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri, some Minnesota communities shared in the pain.
The first half of June produced numerous rounds of severe weather and heavy rainfall in Minnesota. Three particularly heavy rainfall events led to notable urban flooding and damage to agriculture and infrastructure on the rural landscape:
- June 5 and 6 - roughly five inches of rain fell in a short period of time in Cook County. Urban flooding occurred in downtown Grand Marais. Substantial damage to transportation infrastructure was reported.
- June 7 and 8 - two-day rainfall totals topped five inches in portions of Mower, Fillmore, and Houston counties. 10 inches of rain was reported south of Caledonia. Homes and businesses in Preston were inundated by the Root River. Numerous roads were closed.
- June 11 and 12 - for the second time in a week, heavy rains fell on portions of southeastern Minnesota. The cumulative impact of the two events led to significant urban flooding in Austin and was responsible for a traffic fatality in rural Freeborn County.
Total precipitation for the first half of June exceeded five inches in portions of northeastern and southeastern Minnesota (see map). Eight or more inches of rain fell in sections of Freeborn, Mower, Fillmore, and Houston counties. Elsewhere across Minnesota, rainfall totals through June 16 topped three inches in most places. The historical average rainfall for this time period is approximately one inch per week. Therefore, early-June rainfall substantially exceeded the historical average in most locales (see map).
River Stage Information from National Weather Service Office - La Crosse, WI
The torrential rainfall led to numerous record and near-record river crests on Midwestern rivers following the deluge. Below is a list of the maximum crests, along with historical ranking, for southeastern Minnesota rivers through June 13.
|Turtle Creek||Austin||10.5||13.74||2nd Highest|
|Dobbins Creek||Austin||11.5||18.95 (prelim)||2nd Highest|
|Cedar River||Lansing||18.0||20.54 (prelim)||4th Highest|
|Austin WWTP||15.0||22.40||3rd Highest|
|Austin 3S||11.0||21.40 (prelim)||3rd Highest|
|Lanesboro||12.0||14.17 (prelim)||4th Highest|
|Root River||Pilot Mound||19.0||20.17 (prelim)||3rd Highest|
|Houston||15.0||16.08 (prelim)||8th Highest|