Severe thunderstorms moved across the Twin Cities Friday evening, bringing heavy rain, hail and high winds that downed trees and power lines and sent residents scurrying to their basements in response to warning sirens.
Xcel Energy reported thousands of customers out of power during the height of the storms and just afterward. There were still around 24,000 customers without power Saturday morning in the Twin Cities metro area.
The stormy night followed a steamy day in the metro, and was just one part of a huge northeast-to-southwest line of storms that earlier pummeled central Minnesota.
The storms brought multiple pop-up tornado warnings, including a brief one about 8 p.m. in the northwest metro.
“The radar indicates the tornado is somewhere in the Crystal, New Hope area heading for a sliver of north Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, up to Fridley,” Todd Krause, a meteorologist at the National Weather Center in Chanhassen, said then.
By 10:30, the storms had moved across Dakota and Goodhue counties, weakening a little as they headed into western Wisconsin.
There were widespread reports of trees, branches and power lines down on streets, cars and roofs in a broad area ranging from Robbinsdale and New Hope, in Hennepin County, to Kandiyohi, McLeod, Mille Lacs and Stearns counties.
Some of the damage was caused by tornadoes, some by straight-line winds.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday will be much calmer in the metro area, with sunny skies, light winds and highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s, the NWS said. Humidity is expected to ease up those days.