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Storms bring several tornadoes, downpours to southern Minnesota

At least three tornadoes touched down in south-central Minnesota.

Several tornadoes were reported in Minnesota Wednesday as severe weather moved across the southern part of the state. 

The National Weather Service's storm reports website shows at least eight tornadoes were reported in south-central Minnesota Wednesday evening, while the Star Tribune is saying weather officials have confirmed three tornadoes touched down, and three other twisters may have too – but that hasn't been confirmed yet. 

The paper notes no one was injured by the tornadoes, but some damage was reported including downed trees and damaged barns. 

The National Weather Service will go out Thursday to survey damage, The Associated Press says

The evening's storms also dumped heavy rains in some areas, which caused some flooding. The weather service's office in Chanhassen reported getting 1.98 inches of rain in just 30 minutes. 

Redwood Falls got the most rain with the storm, totaling nearly 10 inches, the National Weather Service tweeted. (For other rainfall totals, click here.)

You can see where the tornadoes and flooding were reported on the National Weather Service's website here.

The original stories from Wednesday afternoon and evening are below.

Tornadoes, heavy rain move through Minnesota

Tornadoes and heavy rain plagued portions of southern Minnesota Wednesday afternoon and evening.

South-central Minnesota was hit first, with multiple tornado touchdowns spotted around Nicollet starting just before 5 p.m. (more on these below).

The storm, which was predicted to have a marginal risk for severe weather, then moved north and east, dropping inches of rain and producing more possible tornadoes.

A tornado was confirmed in the southern Twin Cities suburb of Prior Lake at about 7:45 p.m., with debris seen being thrown around on the radar, the National Weather Service said.

That's part of a tornado warning that was in effect until 8:30 p.m. for areas of Hennepin County, including Eden Prairie, Shakopee and Chaska – though it was canceled just after 8 p.m. because the system weakened.

The Lester Prairie and Winsted area west of the Twin Cities was also under a tornado warning until 8:30 p.m.

An area north and west of the Twin Cities is under a tornado watch until 10 p.m., meaning conditions are ripe to produce a tornado – so keep an eye on the weather. It's the yellow area on this map (as of 7:58 p.m.):

The rain, meanwhile, has been coming down hard.

One tweet shows about 3 inches of rainfall in New Ulm, another notes 2.6 inches in Walnut Grove. And the National Weather Service Twin Cities says radar estimates show 3-plus inches in just six hours for an area from Gaylord south to about New Ulm and Nicollet.

All the rain has led to a flood watch for west-central and central Minnesota – check out the green in that map above.

The Weather Service is expecting 4-6 inches to fall as it continues through the night, with some localized areas seeing even higher totals.

The watch is in effect until Thursday morning. Low-lying areas and smaller creeks/streams will be susceptible to flooding.

The southwestern Twin Cities has a flash flood warning until 11:15 p.m. too.

And a reminder: Don't drive through roads covered in water, even if you think you can get through. It's especially perilous at night.

The original story from Wednesday afternoon is below.

Tornadoes spotted in south-central Minnesota

Multiple tornadoes have been spotted on the ground in southern Minnesota Wednesday afternoon.

Law enforcement near Nicollet noted a tornado just east of the city on the ground at 4:52 p.m., the National Weather Service tweeted.

Twitter user Brandon Lewis even caught it on video.

About 20 minutes later another tornado was seen on the ground, this time 3 miles south of Nicollet, the Weather Service tweeted.

There were additional sightings at 5:35 p.m. north of New Sweden, and at 5:42 p.m. at the Nicollet and Sibley county line. It was then confirmed to have been heading north at that point.

Nicollet County in an email news release said a farm site had reported some structural damage. They're asking anyone else in the area with damage to contact the sheriff's office at 507-931-1570.

The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for the area less than 20 before the first one was spotted. But there had been no widespread severe weather watches for the area.

The weather service did say in its advisory there was a marginal risk for severe storms in south-central Minnesota, with damaging wind gusts and "a tornado or two" possible.

The Twin Cities National Weather Service tweets whenever a warning is issued – you can keep an eye on their latest news here.

A handful of tornado warnings have been issued for southern Minnesota, the most recent being until 6:45 p.m. for Winthrop.

We'll update this post with any additional severe weather news that comes in.

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