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Thunderstorms cause flooding, tree damage and blackouts in the Twin Cities

A line of intense thunderstorms rolled through southern Minnesota on Wednesday night, causing wind damage, localized flooding and power outages in the Twin Cities.

The storm reached the westernmost suburb around 7 p.m. with winds blowing up to 67 mph near Eden Prairie, according to Paige Marten, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

Although some unconfirmed tornado reports have been received from southwestern Minnesota, none have been reported in the Twin Cities, Marten said. The NWS canceled the last tornado warnings for the subway shortly before 9 p.m. No damage from the southwestern Minnesota tornado sightings was immediately reported.

The storm brought damaging winds to Hennepin, Ramsey and other metropolitan counties, with downed trees and widely reported power outages. No injuries were reported immediately.

A 77mph gust was recorded in Shakopee, while the doors of a Target store in Roseville were blown out.

Nearly 83,000 utility customers were without power as of 10 p.m., including 74,000 Xcel Energy customers, mostly in the Twin Cities.

In addition to the wind, the storm dumped torrential rain and large hailstones – some up to 2 inches – on the subway. Several areas reported flooded roads and underground parking lots. Nearly 2 inches of rain was officially recorded in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Although the worst of the storm moved into western Wisconsin around 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Twin Cities are bracing for a possible second night of storms Thursday.

Thursday is expected to dawn mostly sunny, with daytime temperatures likely reaching the low 90s with high humidity.

“It will feel like a hot summer day,” Marten said.

A cold front is expected to come over the Dakotas in the afternoon and evening. The forecast calls for severe weather that is “quite similar to today’s event”, according to Marten.

John Smith

The author John Smith