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Boy and woman killed, thousands without power as storms batter Minnesota

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https://twitter.com/MarkJWestpfahl/status/756139892728537088

Two campers – one of them a boy scout – have died and tens of thousands are still without power after thunderstorms battered Minnesota overnight.

According to the St. Cloud Times, the scout was killed along with a female volunteer from the Northern Tier High Adventure Base Program, while they were camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area.

They were camping near Basswood Lake near the Canadian border along with two more adults and five boys when storms hit the area, the newspaper reports, though there's no details at this stage of how they died.

Xcel Energy is still reporting outages at about 15,000 homes in and around the Twin Cities metro area and western Wisconsin as of 1 p.m., after heavy weather in the early hours of the morning.

Worse hit was the north of the state, with Minnesota Power reporting about 30,000 homes are without electricity in Duluth, Brainerd, and in the Iron Range areas.

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Lake Country Power says it has thousands of customers without power in Grand Rapids, the Chippewa National Forest area, and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness.

Residents of the Twin Cities may have been woken around 4 a.m. by loud cracks of thunder as the tail end of the storm system passed through, with high winds bringing down trees and power lines, and nickel-sized hail reported in parts of the state.

At its height, the system stretched from across the Canadian border in the north down to the southern Twin Cities metro area.

In Beltrami County, the sheriff's office said there was "destructive wind damage" that blew roofs off properties.

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Here comes the heat again

The storms came after temperatures soared on Wednesday well into the 90s, with high dew points meaning it felt as high as 110 degrees in some parts of the state.

After a cool-down in the wake of Thursday morning's storms, temperatures are going to rise again, potentially hitting the 100-degree mark with heat indices of up to 115 expected.

Because of the high temperature and humidity, the National Weather Service has issued an air pollution advisory valid from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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