Update, 1:48 p.m.: Highway 59 north of Worthington and Interstate 90 eastbound laanes near South Dakota border opened around noon. I-90 at Beaver Creek westbound lanes remain closed.

Updated, 10:13 a.m.: Highway 59 north of Worthington and Interstate 90 near the South Dakota border remain closed as of 10 a.m. Thursday. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will monitor the situation and provide updates.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

WORTHINGTON - Areas across southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa experienced nearly 24-hours of consecutive rainfall Wednesday and into Thursday.

According to the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls, in a 48-hour period, the Worthington-area received approximately 4.47 inches of rain as of 7 a.m. Thursday.

Rainfall began at 6:51 a.m. Wednesday morning and continued through 4 a.m. Thursday morning, before shifting to on and off light rain, said NWS Meteorologist Alex Ferguson.  

“It rained most of yesterday, and peaked yesterday evening,” Ferguson said.

Other official totals from NWS observers in southwest Minnesota calculated prior to 8 a.m. this morning include: Luverne, 4.94 inches; Jasper, 3.95 inches; Pipestone, 2.85 inches; Slayton, 3.07 inches; Lakefield, 2.96; northeast of Round Lake, 2.74 inches; northwest of Windom, 4.06 inches; Storden, 2.43. In the northwest Iowa region include: Lake Park, 3.09 inches; Spirit Lake, 2.44 inches; and northeast of Larchwood, 5.43 inches. A total from Osceola County, Iowa was not available early this morning.

Ferguson said the storm is expected to clear up this evening, with future chances for rainfall on Saturday and Monday in Tuesday next week.

Water damage

According to Nobles County Emergency Management Director Joyce Jacobs, the extent of damage was unknown Thursday morning, but she had heard various reports including running water over township roads, washed out bridges, flooded fields, flooded feedlots, wet basements and some sewage backup.

The Nobles County Sheriff’s Office sent out an alert that Nobles 59 north of Airport Road in Worthington was partially covered with water early Thursday morning, asking motorists to slow down and approach with caution.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office made a similar alert to its Facebook page Wednesday evening, alerting motorists that the gravel road north of Alpha on 810th Street west of County Road 29 had water flowing across it.

Jacobs expected that area townships would learn of more water coverage across roads throughout the day.

Jacobs said she alerted Nobles County cities and townships to document and report damage to her office, so her office can later make the determination if enough public infrastructure damage exists to ask homeland security to do a preliminary damage assessment. That assessment would see if the county’s cities and townships collectively met the $39,335.52 damage requirement to request any state disaster assistance. As of Thursday morning, Jacobs reported that the possibility of making such a request “certainly exists,”  but she does not expect to know the extent of the damage until the area can dry out a bit.

“Right now we’re really early in the game,” she said. “We’re at the wait and see game at this point.”

Check back for an updated version in Saturday’s edition of The Globe.