Flash flooding in north metro

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Maple Grove Courtesy: Craig Solem

Flash flooding hit the north metro Wednesday night, stranding cars and flooding streets. Authorities are asking people to use caution and avoid travel if at all possible.

According to the Hennepin County Emergency Management Director Eric Waage, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, and Maple Grove got hit the hardest from the flooding. About 5.65 inches of rain fell in Maple Grove in about an hour, according to meteorologists.

Waage says about 10 to 20 cars were completely submerged in the county. He says there was a handful of car rescues, where fire crews needed to help people out of their cars. So far, there are no reports of injuries. Three structures in the metro area were struck by lightning and caught fire. The extent of damage is unknown.

Waage says there is two feet of water in Maple Grove, north of 93rd and Trenton. In Brooklyn Park, water covered the streets at Zane Ave and Zane Ct. There are also stalled vehicles on 130 and 77th. About three-fourths of a mile is under water at Kentucky and 76th.

Flash flooding went into effect for the following counties: Blue Earth, Brown, Dakota, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Rice, Scott, Sibley, Steele, Waseca, Watonwan [MN] and Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce [WI], Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, McLeod, Ramsey, Sherburne, Washington, Wright [MN] and Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Polk, Rusk, St. Croix.

Around 9 p.m., Captain Adam Lindquist of Maple Grove Police Department released the following statement:

"The Maple Grove Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments have emergency crews throughout the city and are aware of the numerous stalled vehicles in intersections and storm related calls.  Please stay at home or shelter in place at your current location for the duration of the evening until this storm passes and the flooding subsides.  Conditions at this time are treacherous and life could be at risk if you unnecessarily leave your safe location."

As of 9:12 p.m., outages in the metro area affected about 5,540 customers, according to Xcel Energy.