Big cleanup follows hail, winds; more rain on the way

Xcel Energy was working to restore power to more than 70,000 who lost it Tuesday amid heavy storms, strong winds and hail. About half of those customers had electricity again by mid-morning.

In the Tuesday morning storm's wake, more than 21,000 Xcel Energy customers were still without power at 1 p.m., with more than 19,000 of those in the Twin Cities. The vast majority of the outages are were in the east metro, the Pioneer Press says. The paper had some dramatic images of the damage.

Storm damage reports include utility poles down along Pilot Knob Road in Apple Valley and near Interstate Highway 494 in South St. Paul, the Star Tribune reported. Authorities warned people to stay away from downed power lines. Pilot Knob Road was closed between County Roads 42 and 46 while workers remove 14 downed poles and the power lines.

The Star Tribune had more pics of felled trees.

So did WCCO.

Farmington resident Will Herald planted a tree in his yard at the County View Mobile Home Park 40 years ago, and early Tuesday it crushed his trailer, KARE 11 reports.

Sirens sounded in parts of the metro. MPR's Bob Collins has a fresh take on the siren debate.

The National Weather Service says there is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 4 p.m Tuesday. Some of the storms could be severe.

The weather service forecast for Tuesday night: Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 7 p.m.

Wednesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Partly sunny, with a high near 75.

WCCO says downpours Wednesday could be "torrential:"

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