Large trees were downed by high winds Sunday night in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul, damaging cars and blocking streets.

Thousands of people lost electrical power as trees and power lines were toppled by severe thunderstorms that rattled through the metro and surrounding area. Nearly all power was restored by Monday morning.

At the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, the rain total was measured Sunday night at .37 inches, with a top wind speed of 59 miles per hour. Weather observers reported 1.82 inches in Dayton and 1.63 inches in St. Peter.

In Highland Park, the stormy weather rolled through about 9 p.m., said resident Bill Stein, who said his property was spared any consequence.

Once things died down, "I started hearing chainsaws," said Stein, who documented some of the damage in photos posted on his blog, "There were a lot of roads where people had to keep turning around."

Specifically, the damage in the St. Paul neighborhood was concentrated immediately to the east and south of St. Paul Academy, east of St. Catherine University.

Reports out of Belle Plaine, where funnels were spotted late Sunday, indicated that some roofs on sheds or barns were damaged, but dispatchers at the Scott County Sheriff's Office said no one had called in to report weather emergencies or damage.

In neighboring Carver County, emergency dispatchers said some trees had been knocked down in Chanhassen and in area townships but, again, no major problems related to the weather.

At the peak, more than 30,000 Xcel Energy customers were without power for a time. That total as of Monday at 8 a.m. was down to about 1,900.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482