Heavy rains drenched southern Minnesota late Tuesday during an evening of widespread stormy weather that included brief tornado warnings and watches. Even as the most intense rain moved eastward, flood warnings and watches remained in effect for parts of southern Minnesota until early Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.
The storms hit the Twin Cities area too, and power failures affecting hundreds of homes were reported in several communities, including Brooklyn Park, Shoreview, St. Paul and Woodbury. A full map of power failures is at http://tinyurl.com/jyvjcrm.
In late afternoon and early evening, several tornado touchdowns were spotted in southern Minnesota, and parts of the Twin Cities area were briefly under a tornado watch. No injuries or major damage were reported.
But minor damage was, including downed trees and branches, a house damaged by a falling tree and another that had its siding ripped off by high winds.
Severe storms featuring heavy rain, hail and damaging winds are possible through the night, particularly near and south of a line from Montevideo to Owatonna, according to the Weather Service.
A flash flood warning was in effect for the Mankato area, while a flash flood watch was in effect for a wide swath of southern Minnesota, including Rochester and Albert Lea, through early Wednesday.
Storms could drop 2 to 3 inches of rain an hour through the evening onto already saturated ground, according to the Weather Service.
Flooding and mudslides closed some roads, including three in Blue Earth County: County Road 10 in Ceresco Township; County Road 128 between County Roads 30 and 32, and County Road 1 (Old Highway 66) between Skyline and County Road 90.
After a fairly dry Wednesday, showers and thunderstorms are likely again in the evening. Thursday and Friday, however, should be nice days across southern Minnesota, with sunshine and highs in the upper 70s and low 80s. Rain is possible again Saturday through Tuesday.