Severe Storms Bring Wind, Rain and Lightning to Central Minnesota
UNDATED (WJON News) -- A line of severe thunderstorms fired up across central Minnesota during the evening commute Wednesday.
The first line of storms prompted warnings in southeastern Todd, southwestern Morrison, and northeastern Stearns County just before 4:00 p.m. The storm was carrying winds of 60 miles-per-hour and small hail. It developed over Swanville and was moving east toward Little Falls.
Another storm cell developed near Avon just before 5:00 p.m. and headed toward St. Cloud. A severe thunderstorm then developed just to the west in Freeport at about the same time.
The National Weather Service says Belgrade also saw a severe storm develop just after 5:00 p.m. with 60-mile-per-hour winds and half-dollar size hail.
As the storms pushed eastward, severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for parts of Stearns, Meeker, Wright, and Kandiyohi counties. Storms were spotted over Paynesville, Watkins, Rockville, and Waite Park.
Stearns County Emergency Management received reports of crop damage from high winds in places like Belgrade and St. Martin. A trained weather spotter reported a wind gust of 74 miles-per-hour in Richmond. Stearns County Emergency Management says large 18-25-inch diameter trees were snapped off south of St. Martin and additional tree damage was reported in Richmond and Cold Spring.
Frequent lightning and small hail were reported throughout the storm cells too.
Xcel Energy is reporting just over 800 customers lost power in the Cold Spring, Richmond, and Cokato areas. Damage assessments are underway.
Stearns Electric is reporting a high number of outages, including 1,000 in Collegeville and Munson Townships. Hundreds more lost power in places like Farming, Eden Lake, and Wakefield townships.
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