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Weather Service says Friday storms included four tornadoes; thousands remain without power

Sep 17, 2021 01:53PM ● By Editor
Uprooted and downed trees in Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Friday after severe storms rolled through the Twin Cities overnight.   Photo: Andrew Krueger | MPR News

By Andrew Krueger from Minnesota Public Radio News - September 18, 2021

The National Weather Service reports at least four tornadoes touched down in Minnesota as severe storms swept across the region early Friday.

The storms also brought more-widespread damaging straight-line winds that downed trees and branches. Authorities reported at least one death — in Mankato, where a 4-year-old girl died when a tree branch fell on a tent at a city park

More than 7,000 homes and businesses remained without power early Saturday in Xcel Energy's Minnesota and western Wisconsin service areas, more than 24 hours after the storms barreled through. Xcel said that was down from a peak of more than 100,000 outages immediately after the severe weather.

Storm damage at a library
Storm damage at the Hudson Area Public Library in Hudson, Wis., on Friday. Severe storms rolled through the area overnight.  Photo: Mark Zdechlik | MPR News

It was set to be a weekend of cleaning up storm debris for many residents in the the Twin Cities, especially in the southern and eastern metro area.

Friday morning's storms uprooted large trees, with some landing atop homes; branches and other debris blocked streets in some neighborhoods. Winds gusted to 64 mph at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The Weather Service said most of the damage was caused by straight-line, downburst winds. But survey teams sent out to assess the damage confirmed at least four tornado touchdowns — three in the south metro, and one in Sibley County. All were rated EF-0, with winds estimated at 65 to 85 mph:

  • Savage: The Weather Service reports the tornado touched down near State Highway 13 and Connelly Parkway at about 3 a.m. and tracked east for just over 2 miles, sending trees onto houses and vehicles. There was roof damage at a Savage Public Works building, and a light pole was bent at a baseball field.

  • Burnsville: This tornado touched down near State Highway 13 and Cliff Road just after 3 a.m. and tracked northeast for about a mile, knocking trees onto homes and vehicles.

  • Apple Valley: A tornado touched down just after 3 a.m. near Cedar Avenue and 145th Street and traveled east-northeast for just under a mile, sending trees onto homes and vehicles.

  • Sibley County: This tornado touched down just after 2:30 a.m. a couple miles north-northwest of Le Sueur. It was on the ground for about 1.6 miles, mostly crossing corn fields but also downing large branches in a grove of trees.

To read the original post and see more storm damage photos, follow this link to the MPR News website.

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