Summer kick-started in stormy fashion Monday morning in the Twin Cities and especially along the southern band of counties in Minnesota, sporting strong winds, rain, hail and thunder that left trees toppled and buildings damaged.
High winds spawned by thunderstorms were reported from Redwood Falls east all the way to Northfield, with sustained speeds of 40 to 50 miles per hour and the potential for gusts up to 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
In the Twin Cities area, hail pelted an area northeast of Lakeville about 6:20 a.m., the weather service said.
In southwestern Minnesota and points east, officials in Rock, Nobles and Martin counties were sizing up the impact of high winds and torrential rains, according to Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM). Authorities reported localized flash flooding, downed trees and the roof torn off the arena at the Nobles County fairgrounds in Worthington.
Washington, Dakota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties in the metro area also should be on the lookout for heavy rain and localized minor flooding, HSEM added.
Heavy rain in the Austin area briefly closed a stretch of Interstate 90 in both directions, thanks to high water, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).
In Albert Lea, soggy soil and strong winds snapped a mature tree at the base of its trunk. The fallen tree barely missed a pickup truck in a home’s driveway.
To the west along I-90, between Fairmont and Jackson, a tree surrendered to the storm in Sherburn and crunched the top of a car and put a gash in a house’s siding. A touch farther south, in Ceylon, a gust got the best of a grain bin.
In Fairmont, damage to a boat and dock were reported, along with a home’s roof being ripped up, the NWS said.
Blue Earth County opened its Emergency Operations Center in preparation for responding to any weather-related incidents.
Shortly after 8 a.m., the NWS put parts of Chisago, Isanti and Anoka counties on alert to strong thunderstorms, high winds and hail. Cities affected include Stacy, North Branch, East Bethel, Taylors Falls and Lindstrom.
For the Twin Cities, and parts of central and southern Minnesota, the NWS envisions two rounds of thunderstorms, “with large hail being the main threat.”
By late morning, a second swath of thunderstorms is expected to roll in, particularly in east-central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Again, the NWS said, look out for damaging wind gusts and large hail.