Overnight rain causes flash flooding in Rochester, Minn, closed airport

Heavy rain and thunderstorms overnight Thursday caused flash flooding southeastern Minnesota.

Rochester was the target of the heaviest rainfall, with approximately 5 inches of rain falling in six hours, according to the National Weather Service. 

The Rochester International Airport was closed for several hours because of standing water on the runway. The airport said this was unusual for them because the airport is one of the highest points in the county. 

Several roads in Olmsted and Dodge counties were closed for a time due to water over the road. The water has since receded. 

Flash flooding west of Rochester caused the Zumbro River and its branches to flood, sweeping away approximately 40 cows from a farm in the area. Several of the cows since been located, but they cannot be rescued until the water recedes. 

To help people affected by the flooding, the American Red Cross will be distributing clean-up kits on Friday and Saturday in Kasson, Mantorville and Dodge Center. The cleanup kits contain bleach, a bucket, scrubbers and sponges, mops, brooms, long-handled squeegees, garbage bags and gloves. They will be distributed until 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday.