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Thousands still without power after Friday storms in Minnesota

Areas just north of Minneapolis were hit hard.

As of 7:30 a.m. Saturday more than 25,000 Minnesotans remain without power after severe storms moved through the state Friday evening. There were upwards of 50,000 without power late Friday, with Xcel Energy responding with more than 350 workers attempting to restore electricity. 

According to the Xcel Energy outage map, nearly 13,000 customers are without power in the Crystal area. That's where a tornado warning was issued as a line of storms raced through the heart of the Twin Cities around 7:30 p.m. 

Areas to the east of Crystal, including Columbia Heights and St. Anthony, also lost power in the storms. Overall, more than 17,000 of the residences without power Saturday morning are in Hennepin County, while the majority of the rest are in Anoka, Ramsey and Washington Counties. 

Reports of storm damage are also widespread, including numerous reports of tornado touchdowns west of the Twin Cities. In west-central Minnesota, a storm report on the National Weather Service website says "three tornadoes quickly formed in a line in the Elbow Lake area, with one suspected tornado causing significant damage at the town's golf course. 

A short time later, a spotter reported seeing a funnel cloud over the Alexandria airport. 

More storms ignited to the south and spun up tornadoes in Kandiyohi and Meeker Counties between Willmar and Eden Valley. One twister may have been on the ground for miles in the vicinity, as spotters and storm chasers reported a tornado just north of Willmar near the Hwy. 73 and Hwy. 23 junction. 

That tornado tracked to the east-northeast, with trees and power lines downed on the south side of Green Lake and debris thrown into the area further along its track about six miles southeast of Paynesville. 

Supercells that formed out ahead of the main line of storms also produced at least one tornado – just west of Glencoe – and numerous funnels near Norwood-Young America, Gaylord, Green Isle and Cologne. Funnels were also spotted by the State Patrol south of Interstate 90 near Worthington. 

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