Heavy rains flooded streets and briefly closed a section of Interstate 90 in southeast Minnesota overnight, but the region didn't get hit as hard as forecasters initially feared.
Bands of rain swept through the area starting Tuesday afternoon. National Weather Service meteorologist Todd Riech in La Crosse, Wis., said the most intense rains came during the evening commute.
"It looks like the heaviest rains fell right around the Austin area up through Rochester, which may have been hit hardest," he said. "We've been getting many reports over 5 inches so far fell there and a lot of that came in as little as two to three hours."
There were reports of more than 4 inches of rain in the Minnesota cities of Owatonna, Mantorville and Kasson Tuesday night.
An observer in Eau Claire, Wis., reported 6 inches of rain before midnight and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation closed U.S. Highway 12 in both directions southeast of Eau Claire Wednesday morning.
Riech said the excess water will recede as the morning continues.
"The real heavy rains have shifted off to the east. There will still be high water in many rivers and streams, so that will be a concern at least through the morning hours," he said.