Tens of thousands still without power as storm clean-up begins



There are still 70,000 homes across southern Minnesota, most of them in the Twin Cities, without power after Tuesday's severe storms.

As many as 200,000 homes in Xcel Energy's Minnesota service area have lost power in the last 24 hours, and as of 11 p.m. Tuesday power had still not be restored to 142,000 of them, Xcel said.

The Star Tribune reports that power has since been restored to about half of these, but many still go into Wednesday without power in their homes after wind gusts as high as 65 mph knocked down trees and power lines, while torrential rain flooded parts of the metro area.

Here's a look at where power outages are still being reported in the Twin Cities as of 6 a.m.

Outside of the Twin Cities, there were also outages reported from Paynesville in central Minnesota all the way to western Wisconsin, the Pioneer Press reports.

Xcel Energy said on its Facebook page it will be assessing the damage on Wednesday morning, at which point it will give more information as to when power will be restored to homes.

The sky across the southern half of the state turned dark heading into the evening as the storm system moved in, with counties in central and southern Minnesota experiencing golf-ball sized hail and winds that flattened barns, trees and cornfields.

The strongest wind recorded in the metro area was 67 mph at St. Paul's Downtown Airport


Heavy rain also caused problems in the north and northeast metro area in particular, with localized flooding reported.

Northeast Minneapolis was among the areas hit, with roads flooding requiring people to abandon their cars, in some cases having to swim to safety such was the deluge, as reported by KARE 11 on Twitter.

Tornado in Appleton

The storm brought with it isolated tornadoes across the state, and the most spectacular one was captured on film in Appleton, Minnesota by storm chaser Tyler Olson.

Take a look:


Rogers "cut off" from metro area

Downed power lines in the north metro area has effectively "cut-off" local road access between Rogers, Hanover and St. Michael and the Twin Cities.

Rogers police says the weather knocked down a high voltage power line in the south of the city that has created an "east-west" barrier cutting the area off from the Twin Cities.

The only way to get to the metro area for now is via Interstate 94, which remains open.

Sections of County roads 101, 116 and 203 are closed, and repairs are expected to take "several days." Local streets are also closed, with travelers and residents urged to stay away or stay home, respectively.

It's not over yet, either

While Minnesota will get a bit of a break during the daytime Wednesday, there are more storms likely Wednesday night and on Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

The service says another storm will make its way across the state on Wednesday night, with the southwest and south-central areas of the state at "slight risk" of severe weather, with the Twin Cities having a "marginal risk."

Then on Thursday evening, there's an "enhanced risk" that southern Minnesota, including Mankato, Rochester and Albert Lea, will get hit with severe weather, and a "slight risk" it will hit the Twin Cities.


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Thousands in the Northland without power after second wave of storms

Crews had not finished restoring power in Bemidji and parts of the Iron Range after Monday night's storm when a follow-up storm lashed the area on Wednesday. Now several thousand customers are without power in cities including Grand Rapids, Bemidji, Mountain Iron, and Deer River. Officials say it could take as long as three days to get the electricity back on.