Lightning strikes set three buildings ablaze after dark Sunday in Duluth as thunderstorms rolled through Minnesota’s fifth-largest city, authorities said.
The fiery consequences were part of numerous rollicking weather incidents across northern and central Minnesota, none resulting in any reported injuries.
The trio of lightning strikes began about 8:40 p.m., first targeting a home in the 6100 block of Greene Street. Next, less than an hour later, was a three-story apartment building and business in the 1400 block of E. Superior Street, where the chimney was obliterated and the roof set ablaze, according to city fire officials.
A gaping hole was left in the roof, allowing heavy rainfall to cause significant water damage inside, the officials added.
Less than 20 minutes later, fire crews were sent to a home set on fire by lightning in the 300 block of W. Owatonna Street. There, as well, the chimney was destroyed and a large hole was punched through the roof.
Hail, localized flooding and funnel clouds were detected in many communities elsewhere in the state, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Near the Benton County community of Granite Ledge Township, west of Milaca, there was an unconfirmed report of a tornado as the storm toppled trees, blew out windows in buildings and cars and stripped the roof of a barn, the NWS reported. The NWS received other reports of funnel cloud sightings about that time elsewhere in the county.
To the west in Morrison County, hail measuring more than 2 inches in diameter fell about 7 miles south of Hillman, the NWS said. Hail just under 2 inches also was spotted a few miles east of Brainerd, the weather service added.
Rainfall nearing 2.5 inches fell in East Grand Forks, while roughly the same amount was measured in the Duluth area, the NWS reported.