Wet farm fields

A row of corn reaches into a flooded area of a field south of Mankato. The Mankato area received 2 inches of rain ovenight Thursday and another 2 inches Wednesday.

Waves of heavy rain left the region saturated, causing some street flooding and sending rivers rising.

Brent Hewett, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, said a heavy thunderstorm isn’t rare this time of year.

“It is more rare to see several rounds of rain. You had several inches (Wednesday) 1 to 2 inches overnight and we expect another 1 to 2 through Thursday.

“That’s unusual, but there’s a lot of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico,” Hewett said.

Kevin Poppel, who farms near Lake Crystal and Madelia, said the rain was far more than farmers wanted to see, but said crops are still growing and should be able to handle the heavy rains.

“All our crops are actively growing with the late season, so they’ll utilize this rain and we’re far enough from harvest that it shouldn’t be a problem — as long as it turns off now.”

He said the rains and cool temperatures are just the latest in a rocky year.

“When you look back at history and talk to guys who’ve farmed for years, we haven’t seen the crop be this late for a long time. We planted late and the cool weather is a contributing factor,” Poppel said.

“The issue now is our growing degree units are a lot farther behind than we need. We may not look at harvesting a lot of our beans well into October and maybe mid-October, which would be 14 days behind normal.

“We need the heat to finish things off. It’s a little nerve wracking.”

Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Lt. Anthony Adams said Thursday morning that they’d received no reports of serious flooding or damage.

“There’s some standing water in fields but no overflows of creeks or township roads closed that we heard of.”

Area rivers are set to rise rapidly, but shouldn’t cause any significant flooding. The latest NWS river predictions are based on recent rains and rains expected through Friday morning.

The Minnesota River at Mankato is projected to soar in height from about 7 feet Thursday to 21 feet on Monday. That’s just below the “minor flood stage.”

At Henderson, the river is predicted to rise from 720 feet above sea level to 733 feet by Wednesday, bringing it to minor flood stage.

Henderson City Administrator Lon Berberich said the city doesn’t start taking any actions until the river gets to about 735 feet and doesn’t expect any problems based on recent rains.

But residents are keeping an eye on the Rush River and Highway 93, which has been closed repeatedly this year.

“The Rush River has been out of bank several times this year, that’s been the problem for us.”

Hewett said that the hardest hit areas in the recent storms have been in southeastern South Dakota and into southwestern Minnesota.

Friday will bring partly sunny skies with highs of 65 degrees.

Saturday brings a 20% chance of rain with the threat increasing to 40% Saturday night.

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