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Flash flooding strikes parts of the Twin Cities

CAMBRIDGE, Minn. — Rising water swept through parts of the Twin Cities Wednesday evening, leaving drivers stranded, streets flooded and buildings damaged.

Families in Cambridge have a lot of cleaning up to do after Wednesday night’s flooding, with water running into homes and businesses along Main Street near 2nd Avenue.

It was mostly drained by the time our WCCO crew arrived, but public works crews still had to turn vehicles away that were trying to drive through.

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People described the rain as relentless. Homeowner Jeff Nyquist had flood waters rushing into his basement. We looked downstairs and saw a water heater floating nearby, as a muddy pool crept up close to the ceiling.

“Just the water tank busted loose and the pipes busted loose, the water was flowing downstairs with the rest of the water that was flowing into the house and that,” Nyquist said.

Much of the water has receded as of late Wednesday night, but at its peak, the city manager says about 4 inches fell in a one-to-two-hour span, with 40 mph winds.

The newly-renovated library dealt with flooding as well, luckily only in the basement. It will have to close Thursday as they assess damage down below.  

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Back in downtown, WCCO spoke with Johanna Robinson, owner of the Calico Moose. She did everything possible to keep the water away, using dozens of rags as it crept in about 5 feet through the front door. Their sign out front on the sidewalk floated away until a light pole stopped it.

“The alleyway was just streaming like a river and there were cars under water so much they had to stop,” Robinson said.

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Public works say flash flooding isn’t new around here, but that this was unique in how bad it got. There were several reports of stalled vehicles and some downed trees — but zero reports of injuries.

Flash flooding in Inver Grove Heights forced some drivers to take drastic measures. A neighbor near Blaine Avenue sent WCCO pictures of drivers climbing onto the roofs of their vehicles to avoid the water.


Gail Kiltie

Police there says they received reports of several flooded-out cars. There have also been no reported injuries.

The water there also receded by late Wednesday night, but it left behind a bit of a mess on the streets.

Source: CBS Minnesota

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