Storms topple trees, cause flooding, leave thousands without power


The storms that passed through parts of the state Wednesday left thousands without power.

As of 10:30 p.m., Xcel Energy reports more than 11,000 customers without power – all in the Twin Cities area.

Outages have also been reported near St. Cloud and Fargo.

Strong wind gusts toppled trees and heavy rain caused flooding.

The Twins game against the Astros at Target Field had to be postponed because of the storm.

The storm will be moving across Minnesota through Wednesday night. It has the potential to cause flash flooding.

As of 8 p.m., heavy rain has already impacted north and central parts of the state.

Storms are expected to continue through most of the night.

The National Weather Service has issued several flash flood warnings. The NWS says heavy flooding is possible in the Willmar, Hutchinson, and Twin Cities areas.

The Brainerd Lakes and Duluth areas, still recovering from major storms in recent weeks, could be in for another tough night, with the National Weather Service warning heavy rain and high winds could damage properties and trees.

These storms were "rapidly expanding in coverage and intensity through 5 p.m.," an alert said, and will continue to roll out across central and northern Minnesota throughout the evening.

Here's a look at the Accuweather radar at 6:45 p.m.

As well as heavy rain, wind gusts of up to 70mph are possible, as is quarter-sized hail, with damage to roofs, trees and siding likely in areas.

A large area of central and northeast Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, is under a severe thunderstorm watch until midnight.

"Anyone outdoors, on area lakes, or at campgrounds and resorts should pay close attention to the latest weather information through the evening and overnight as storms are expected to persist into Thursday morning," the weather service says.

"Have a plan to seek shelter and move away from rivers, creeks and streams if severe thunderstorm or flash flood warnings are issued later."

The Twin Cities is included in a major swathe of Minnesota that's under a flash flood watch, with the NWS warning that rainfall greater than 2 inches an hour could fall as storms pass through the state overnight.

There could be pockets that experience 4-6 inches of rain, causing local rivers and creeks to swell and water to cover roads.

Before the storms arrive, it's going to be steamy in southern Minnesota, with high dew points causing the heat index to rise to more than 100 degrees in parts of the state.

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