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63,000 still without power after storms wallop Minnesota

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A powerful storm hit the metro early Friday morning, bringing wind-whipped sheets of rain and hail, the Star Tribune reports. Winds knocked down trees and thousands were without power, the newspaper reports.

FOX 9 has more images of damage. An image from the BringMeTheNews mobile app at about 3:30 a.m. showed a radar photo that appeared to show the storms "running" across the metro:

The storm knocked down power lines across a nearly 300-mile swath of the state, MPR reported.

By about noon, there were still about 63,000 without power, the Star Tribune reported, down from 150,000 earlier in the day. Here's Xcel's outage map.

The weather caused at least one notable traffic accident, on Interstate 35W south, where a vehicle and a tanker truck hauling diesel fuel collided a little after 5 a.m., and the truck was leaking, the Star Tribune reported.

Storm damage was reported all over Hennepin County, the Star Tribune reports. Winds hit 73 mph in Buffalo and 55 mph in Eden Prairie, the newspaper reports. The storm is being blamed for a house fire in Minnetonka, KSTP reported. Lightning is suspected in a fire at an Eden Prairie duplex, WCCO reported. In all, the weather was blamed for four house fires, FOX 9 says.

A number of areas in west-central Minnesota were hit with flash flooding after severe thunderstorms, the Associated Press reports. Morris, Glenwood and Starbuck were among the towns with flooded streets, as some areas got as much as 4 to 5 inches of rain in just two to three hours, the AP reports. Valley City, N.D., got up to 6 inches of rain, Forum Communications reports.

Crews were scrambling to restore power in areas left without electricity, including in Austin, the Austin Daily Herald reported.

Rain and hail were reported in the Northland, which this week marked the one-year anniversary of epic flooding, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Forecasters have issued a hazardous weather outlook that shows several rounds of big thunderstorms developing over the state through next Wednesday, mostly during the evening and overnight hours. The storms could bring hail an inch in diameter and winds of more than 60 mph.

The storms will not be continuous. In fact, we're likely to see some sunshine during the day. But as the Weather Service explains in its hydrologic outlook, that's part of the problem. A slow-moving upper air pattern with lots of humidity seems to be setting up shop above us. The sun interacting with that unsettled atmosphere will cause thunderstorms to regenerate, forecasters say, in a cyclical pattern that will last into next week.

Forecasters warn of flash flooding over the next few days.

Fox 9 reports 2 to 4 inches of new rain is possible in the Twin Cities through the weekend as the pattern of partly sunny humid days and stormy nights takes hold.

Expect highs in the upper 80s and storms for the next five days in the metro, the National Weather Service says. The Twin Cities hit 91 degrees Thursday, 7 degrees short of the 1933 record, KARE 11 reports.

KARE forecast:

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