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County road closures followed flood warning

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The Wadena area sustained heavy rainfalls during Memorial weekend, prompting a flood warning from the National Weather Service (NWS) and three road closures Sunday.

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A preliminary local storm report by the NWS - Grand Forks indicated that a trained spotter measured 5.75 inches of rain three miles north-northwest of Wadena on Sunday.

A flood warning was issued for several counties in west central Minnesota, including southern Wadena and northern Otter Tail, due to thunderstorms with heavy rainfall Sunday morning.

Wadena County engineer Ryan Odden said the roads are back open now, but they were unusable before.

"The roadway was washing away. A vehicle could not travel across that section," Odden said. "If we feel that it would be unsafe driving conditions, we barricade the road."

Roads closed between Sunday and Tuesday morning were County Road 132 west of U.S. Highway 71 and County Road 109.

County Road 135 was closed Sunday, and is set to reopen Thursday.

County Road 132 is paved, while the other two roads are gravel.

County emergency manager Scott McKellep said the rainfall totals varied around the area.

Odden added that almost 7 inches of rain fell around the Wahoo Valley area.

"(The Wadena area) happened to receive some of the heavier thunderstorms," said Jeff Makowski, meteorologist for NWS - Grand Forks.

McKellep said the Leaf River section north of town was flooded throughout the weekend, but is a normal flooding spot, especially during the winter snow melt.

The outlook for this upcoming week is for a higher than average pattern for rain and thunder, Makowski said, adding that the recent rainfall has been beneficial for crops.

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