Heavy rain from thunderstorms led to severe flooding and numerous road closures late on Tuesday night all across northern Minnesota, including in Duluth, where officials reported 'extensive damage' from the floodwaters early on Wednesday morning.
AccuWeather.com has been warning the Upper Midwest of the risk of flash and urban flooding since early last week.
Both radar estimates and ground observations have indicated more than a half a foot of rain has fallen as of early on Wednesday morning over a large portion of north-central and northeastern Minnesota, with most of the rain falling over the course of just a few hours' time.
Overnight Tuesday, police in Duluth banned all non-essential travel due to the flooding, which submerged numerous vehicles, leading to water rescues. Some manhole covers were blown off by the pressure of the water in the city, while sinkholes swallowed cars whole.
Mudslides and road collapses were also reported.
In a rare civil emergency bulletin issued overnight, Duluth Police announced that residents in a neighborhood near the Fond du Lac dam were being evacuated. While no threat of a dam failure was imminent, power crews were releasing water to ease the pressure on the structure.
A portion of Interstate 35, Highway 23 and major downtown tunnels were closed Wednesday.
According to the Duluth News Tribune, there were also reports that animals, including a polar bear, escaped from enclosures at the Lake Superior Zoo as floodwaters rose.
Residents and officials are comparing the ongoing situation to flooding that occurred in August 1972 which devastated the city.
The risk of flooding downpours and gusty thunderstorms will spread toward southern Florida as a tropical disturbance spreads northwestward from Cuba.
Following a tropical threat for the United States Gulf coast next week, an uptick in tropical systems will continue for the next six to eight weeks.
After showers threaten to spoil outdoor plans over the weekend, Monday will feature great weather for the bank holiday in Wales and England.
On the heels of deadly Typhoon Mindulle, Typhoon Lionrock is poised to make landfall in Japan early next week with heavy rainfall, damaging winds and an inundating storm surge.
Relief from the heat baking Germany this weekend will come by early next week, but not before violent thunderstorms threaten northern areas to end the weekend.
President Obama visited flood victims in Louisiana this week, while several tropical systems were on the prowl in the Atlantic.
Lake Okeechobee, FL (1949)
Hurricane sends 155-mph winds against levees but the disaster of 1928, when the levees broke, was not repeated.
Kiana, AK (1976)
A weak tornado occurred, about 2.9 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Elizabeth, PA (1979)
A heavy thunderstorm at Elizabeth, PA, 20 miles SE of Pittsburgh, tore the roof off an apartment building and downed about 100 trees. Trees were also knocked over at McKeesport, PA.