More severe weather hits Minnesota Friday night


Following severe thunderstorms that hit the metro area and knocked out power for tens of thousands people early Friday morning, more severe weather returned to Minnesota for another go-round Friday night.

KSTP-TV reported that a tornado was spotted in the southwestern town of Tracy about 5:15 p.m. Friday night.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for the southwest quarter of the state through 10 p.m. Friday.

The tornado watch extends as far east as the outer Minneapolis suburbs.

In addition, the NWS issued severe thunderstorm warnings Friday night for Benton, Brown, Carver, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Nicollet, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Watonwan, Wright and Yellow Medicine counties, KARE 11 reported

The storm that hit early Friday morning brought wind-whipped sheets of rain and hail, according to the Star Tribune reports.

WCCO-TV reports that winds in the western Minnesota city of Benson measured at 85 mph about 1:30 a.m. -- which the NWS said was equivalent to a low-end EF0 tornado.

Winds from western and central Minnesota into the Twin Cities area, meanwhile, were in the 50-60 mph range .

The winds knocked down trees, and power was out at one point for more than 157,000 Xcel Energy customers, KSTP says.

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, Xcel said 44,000 of its customers from central Minnesota into western Wisconsin were still without power.

Please refresh this page for updates on this developing story.

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