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Associated Press, Published May 20 2013

UPDATED: Heavy rainfall sets records across North Dakota

BISMARCK — Heavy rain over the weekend set records in North Dakota, and the wet weather was persisting into the early part of the work week.

Bismarck, Dickinson, Jamestown, Minot and Grand Forks all set rainfall records for the date on Sunday, with an inch or more, according to National Weather Service reports. Bismarck's record had stood since 1877.

“It's much-needed rain, especially for the farmers and ranchers out west” where dry conditions have persisted, meteorologist Lindsay Tardif-Huber told The Bismarck Tribune.

Rain continued to fall throughout the state on Monday, and the weather service posted a flood watch for western and central North Dakota through Monday night because of the potential for overland flooding and rises in some creeks and rivers. As much as 4 inches of rain had fallen in some areas by early Monday and 1-3 more inches was expected in some areas, the weather service said.

Water receded on Interstate 94 near Jamestown early Monday, a day after water about a foot deep reduced vehicle speeds and swept two semitrailers off the road. No injuries were reported.

State Transportation Department officials cautioned motorists Monday that conditions could change rapidly in the area, where rain was still falling.

It was the fourth time in nine years that that the interstate in the area was submerged by heavy rains because of drainage problems, said Mark Hoffman, a regional transportation spokesman in Jamestown.

“It's just when you get this much liquid so quick, it just takes time” for it to drain away, he told KVLY-TV.

Transportation officials on Monday said there was water on N.D. Highway 200 near Bowdon in the central part of the state and urged drivers to slow down. The department also alerted motorists to the possibility of flash flooding on roadways in the northeastern part of the state over the next couple of days. Water was reported on state Highway 32 near the Pembina County town of Mountain mid-day Monday, and motorists were advised to use caution.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.