Thousands without power in Minnesota after severe storms bring high winds, heavy rain

Most of those without power are in the Twin Cities metro area.
Wind damage

Thousands of households in Minnesota are without power after severe storms battered the state overnight on Friday.

Xcel Energy's outage map shows more than 12,000 homes were without electricity at 7 a.m. Saturday, which comes after a massive system brought dangerous winds, heavy rain, and lightning.

While the storm's ferocity had reduced somewhat by the time it reached the Twin Cities, wind gusts of almost 60 mph were still recorded, leading to the National Weather Service issuing a severe thunderstorm warning in the early hours of the morning.

The majority of those homes without power are in the metro area.

Earlier, gusts as high as 90 mph had been recorded in parts of northwestern and north-central Minnesota, while tornado warnings were issued in the Cambridge, Braham, and Brooten areas as it moved southeast.

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At this time it's not known if any tornadoes landed, but wind damage to trees and buildings have been reported in areas north of the Twin Cities.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office meanwhile says that a house fire in Lakeland Township appears to have been sparked by a lightning strike.

Also causing problems was heavy rain, with the Brainerd area seeing more than 3 inches fall in the space of just a few hours.

The National Weather Service says that after a warm-up on Saturday, which will see heat indices climb to as high as 110, the same storm system could potentially lead to more severe weather later in the evening.

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