Streets and basements were awash in unwanted rainwater Thursday night in Goodhue, Rice and southern Dakota counties, parts of which were hit by several inches of rain over the course of the day and evening.

"We're floating down here," a Dakota County dispatcher said about 8 p.m., adding that hilly Hwy. 50 between Hampton and Miesville was closed by high water.

A Rice County dispatcher said streets and houses in the Northfield area were experiencing nuisance flooding.

And in Goodhue County, large trees were down, barn and shed roofs blown off and a semitrailer tractor was blown off the road on Hwy. 52 near Pine Island after "a very nasty thunderstorm" Thursday evening, according to National Weather Service forecaster Jacob Beitlich.

"We had a line of thunderstorms developing and moving eastward, then redeveloping over the same areas," Beitlich said.

"Once all was said and done, we had a wide swath that got hit by over 5 inches of rain."

Cannon Falls had confirmed reports of 5.86 inches of rain for the day, he said. "The ground can only hold so much, so now it's running off and creating problems."

Storms earlier Thursday dropped the first wave of heavy rain and hail across southern Minnesota, and lightning damaged several homes in Apple Valley, Burnsville and other parts of the south metro.

In addition, the stormy weather gummed up operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. At first, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a morning "ground stop" at the airport, meaning no flights were allowed to head to the Twin Cities. That was quickly lifted, although flights to the Twin Cities were delayed into the afternoon.

Outgoing flights were more seriously affected. Metropolitan Airport Commission spokesman Patrick Hogan emphasized that travelers should always check with their airline for schedule updates on days of nasty weather.

Much lighter rain is possible Friday, and a high near 84 was forecast by the National Weather Service. Showers and thunderstorms are likely Saturday, mainly after 1 p.m., with a high of 83.

Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny, with a high near 81. More rain is possible Sunday night and Monday.

Staff writers Pamela Miller, Bill McAuliffe and Paul Walsh contributed to this report.