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Rain, rain and more rain

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It’s not a bad idea to pack a rain coats this Memorial Day weekend

Rain started Wednesday in the Brainerd lakes area and it looks like residents and tourists are in for even more rain in the days to come.

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The National Weather Service (NWS) in Duluth is forecasting showers and possibly a thunderstorm Thursday through Monday. There is a 90 percent chance of showers Thursday; a 20 percent chance of showers before 1 p.m. Friday and a 30 percent chance Friday night; a 60 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Saturday; showers and thunderstorms are likely on Sunday; and a chance of showers Monday.

Showers and thunderstorms already made an impression Wednesday when lightening struck an utility pole at 1:14 p.m. on Eighth and Washington streets in Brainerd near the Crow Wing County Food Co-op.

Brainerd Public Utility Superintendent Scott Magnuson said the two main wires that hold up the pole were burned, causing power outages. Magnuson said a good portion of north and northeast Brainerd were out of power and a strip along Washington Street from Eighth Street to the west to the Mississippi River. Magnuson said Essential Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd Police Department and the Brainerd Fire Department lost power. Magnuson said power was out for about 15-20 minutes for a bulk of the residents and businesses.

Magnuson said there was one incidental outage on Two Mile Road, but it was not related to the utility pole that was struck by lightening.

Lightening also was a possible cause of a structure fire on Johnson Road, north of Baxter.

The NWS Wednesday issued a flood watch for Crow Wing and Aitkin counties through Thursday night. It was reported that abundant moisture will surge northward from the Gulf of Mexico and interact with the front to create very heavy rainfall over an extended period of time. Most of the flood watch area can expect to see rainfall of 2 to 3 inches, with higher amounts in excess of 4 inches. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. The watch in

The NWS also issued hazardous weather for northeast Minnesota, which includes parts of Crow Wing, Cass and Aitkin counties through Wednesday night.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.

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