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1 injured, two houses catch fire from lightning strikes

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A woman was hospitalized and two houses caught fire Saturday afternoon in the west metro after being struck by lightning, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

The woman was at Lions Park in Ham Lake with family members, watching a child's baseball game, when she was struck by lightning at about 3 p.m., according to a statement from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office.

Bystanders performed CPR on the woman, who is 48 years old and lives in Dayton, Minn., until emergency responders arrived. They determined she did not have a pulse and was not breathing, but paramedics resuscitated her on the way to the hospital. The woman remains at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, and her condition is unknown.

Lightning strikes also caused two house fires in the same area, according to authorities. One house in Ham Lake was struck about 3:30 p.m. The other house is in Plymouth, and was struck about 5 p.m. according to Hennepin County authorities. No one was injured in either case, according to the Pioneer Press.

Waves of heavy storms rumbled across the state Saturday afternoon, especially in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. The National Weather Service said some places in Anoka County received 1.5-2 inches of rain.

More showers and thunderstorms are on the way tonight through Monday. KARE 11 is forecasting several more rounds of rain with the potential of heavy rainfall amounts. Areas from west-central Minnesota through central Minnesota are under a Flash Flood Watch for the possibility of street-flooding. Sunday will be warm and muggy, with another chance for showers primarily in the evening.

Rainfall totals through Tuesday morning may easily top 1 to 2 inches for much of the area, with locally higher amounts possible, according to the weather service.

Water levels on many area rivers, lakes and streams will remain high, and residents are urged to be cautious near any body of water. Canoeing on Minnehaha Creek in the Minneapolis area is still not safe, according to watershed authorities, who are also warning residents who live near the creek to be aware of the possibility of flooding.

Two people drowned in separate accidents in area rivers last weekend because of high water and swift currents.

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