Strong winds and hail bore down from the west Thursday morning on the Twin Cities and brought widespread hail, heavy rain and strong winds to many communities on the western and northern edges of the metro area, according to weather casts.
Just about the same time as the skies darkened, power failures starting popping up in many west-metro communities, among them several near Lake Minnetonka, along with Robbinsdale, New Hope, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Bloomington and Minneapolis. By early afternoon, Xcel Energy was reporting more than 20,000 customers were without electricity.
The stormy weather sent a tree toppling on a car in northeast Minneapolis in a residential block just south of 38th Avenue NE. and west of University Avenue, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
A severe thunderstorm was spotted shortly before 9:30 a.m. near Hutchinson, rumbling east at 60 miles per hour, the NWS reported.
Among the reports from the NWS: hail 2 inches in diameter south of Cambridge, and 1-inch hail and heavy rain southeast of Monticello.
In Hutchinson, winds topped 45 mph and sent a large tree onto a vehicle on Jefferson Street, leaving one person with minor injuries, the NWS reported.
There was also large hail north of Elk River, in Big Lake and near Lake Maria and Maple Lake in Wright County. Nearly 3 inches of rain fell a few miles northeast of Big Lake and in Zimmerman, and at least one street in Cambridge was a foot deep with water, the weather service said.
High winds toppled trees northeast of Blaine and in scattered areas of northern Chisago County, with one falling on a house southwest of Rush City, the NWS reported. Other reports of trees giving way came in from the southern half of Isanti County.
In McLeod County, strong winds flattened cornfields, the NWS added.