- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Severe thunderstorms moved across parts of eastern South Dakota, northwest Iowa and into southwest Minnesota on Monday, causing flooding in some areas.

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls said torrential rainfall along with large hail affected much of those areas, particularly southeast of a line from Hurley to Sioux Falls and on into Jeffers, Minnesota. The strongest storms came down east of Interstate 29.

Sioux Falls officials reported street flooding, downed trees and power outages.

The Department of Public Safety issued a statement Monday night saying officials had closed Interstate 29 south of Sioux Falls because of water over the road.

Northbound traffic was being diverted from Interstate 29 onto S.D. Highway 46 at Beresford, according to the statement. Southbound lanes were closed near Tea due to water over the road further south.

Motorist Tena Heraldson told the Associated Press earlier Monday that at least 100 cars were pulled over on Interstate 29 near the Canton exit as water covered the road. Water reached the headlights of some of the cars, and grape-size hail also pelted the area.

Sioux Falls Emergency Manager Regan Smith said the city’s forestry division worked to remove tree branches from roads, while the public works department tried to restore electrical service to its customers and to ensure proper storm water drainage.

Record rain had already caused problems in the Sioux Falls area before Monday’s storm. The city has already received almost 10 inches of rain in June, about two inches above normal for the entire month. A heavy stretch of rain Sunday morning brought 2.73 inches to the area.

Smith said the city received a mutual aid request from Rock Rapids, Iowa, for 15,000 sand bags.

Sioux Falls Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Buckovich said a lightning strike appears to have caused a townhome fire in Sioux Falls. Buckovich said the fire badly damaged the garage and roof.

Flash flood warnings were issued for Brookings, Lincoln, Minnehaha, Moody and Union counties.

Golf ball-size hail was reported southwest of Baltic.


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