A storm with heavy rain and high winds that moved across the Twin Cities metro area early Wednesday took down trees and power lines in the southeastern suburbs and flooded a freeway in St. Paul.
Standing water on eastbound I-94 in a construction zone at Johnson Parkway forced MnDOT to close the local access lanes and divert motorists to the through lanes for about two hours Wednesday morning. All local access lanes reopened about 6:30 a.m., MnDOT said.
The freeway just east of downtown St. Paul is separated into two chutes with the left lane reserved for through traffic and the right lane allowing drivers to get on and off the freeway.
“We have serious flooding. It’s like a lake at Johnson Parkway,” a spokesman from MnDOT’s Regional Transportation Management Center said before the lanes were reopened. “It’s deep and we’ve had crashes in there. The contractor is trying to clear it.”
Trees and power lines were reported down in Cottage Grove in Washington County, the National Weather Service said.
Weather observers also reported strong winds in Lakeville and Rosemount.
Xcel Energy reported that about 2,000 customers were without electricity in Cottage Grove, with smaller outages reported in Rosemount, St. Paul Park, Hastings and Afton.
The predawn storm came hours after an ominous wall cloud developed over Shakopee and Eden Prairie Tuesday night, leading to a tornado warning and sirens going off. No tornado touched down, but hail 1.75 inches in diameter was reported in Eden Prairie around 7:50 p.m. the weather service said.
Humid air on Wednesday morning will give way to sunny and drier conditions as the day goes on. “Picture perfect weather ahead,” the weather service said.
Temperatures in the Twin Cities Wednesday through Friday will be in the 80s during the day and the low- to mid-60s at night, the weather service said.