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Stevens County may have been hit the hardest by Thursday storms

The entire county was without power after the storms blew through Thursday evening.

Among the places hit hardest by severe weather Thursday is Stevens County in west-central Minnesota. A day after the storms delivered severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings, the county sheriff has issued a memo to residents 

Cleanup crews and power companies continue to respond to downed power lines across the county on Friday, and Sheriff Jason Dingman has asked all residents to limit water use until power is restored throughout the county. 

Pharmacies countywide are closed until further notice. 

Related: MN part of the top 2 hurricane-force wind events in U.S. since 2004

Related: Storm topples grain bin onto man, killing him in Kandiyohi County

"We have no power in the entire county," Dingman told FOX 9 Thursday night. "We have multiple buildings that are damaged or destroyed, hundreds of trees or power lines down."

Otter Tail Power Company, which provides power to much of western Minnesota and the Dakotas, said it had 24,000 customers without power at 9:15 a.m. Friday. By 2 p.m., the number of residents without power was cut in half to about 12,000, including in the towns of Alberta, Chokio, Hancock and Morris in Stevens County. 

"With significant damage to equipment, including more than 250 broken poles, we anticipate that it may take most of the day before crews are able to complete repairs. Some customers could be without power for three to four days," the power company said Friday. 

According to, there were more than 36,000 customers still without power in Minnesota on Friday afternoon, including more than 5,000 in Stevens County. 

"It was really nasty here," Dingman told FOX 9. "It was hurricane-force winds. It seemed to be straight-line winds. I watched metal sheds being blown through fields. It was crazy."

Covering the storms in Stevens County were Nick and Amanda Elms. Known as the Prairie Wind Chasers, they document extensive damage in and around Morris. 

The Morris airport had walls blown out and completely collapsed, along with antennas destroyed. 

Rural buildings were destroyed along County Road 63 between Alberta and Morris. 

And the town of Albert was struck hard with damaging winds taking silos off their concrete foundations. 

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