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2 Deaths Attributed To Storms, Flooding In Wisconsin

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) -- Authorities have attributed two deaths in Wisconsin to the storms and widespread flooding.

The Sawyer County Sheriff's Office says severe thunderstorms toppled a large oak tree onto a camper on Lake Chetac, killing a man inside and injuring a woman and two young children Sunday.

Deadly Wisconsin Flooding
(credit: CBS)

The man is identified as 55-year-old James Pluff, of Redwood Falls, Minnesota. Sheriff's officials say the woman and children suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to a hospital in Rice Lake.

The storms and flooding also caused the death of a 75-year-old man whose body was found not far from his pickup truck along a flooded road in Ashland County Sunday.

Problems persist in the western part of the state and in eastern Minnesota, even after the National Weather Service cancelled flash flood warnings.

It is still a challenge getting around washed out roads and high water. After touring the damage, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency in five counties. He says repairs are a top priority.

"We get roads moving and where appropriate, we can put in place detours that make it very easy for people to get to tourist attractions throughout the area, because we know this is going into a peak period," Walker said.

He says major roads will be reopened by this weekend. Roads that are currently closed include a part of Highway 2 near Ashland on the south shore of Lake Superior. And in Burnett County, the St. Croix River is overflowing and flood waters have closed Highways 35 and 77 near the town of Danbury.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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