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Storms knock out power

From Post-Bulletin reports and news services

Nearly 2 inches of rain fell in Austin in the 24 hours ending at 7 a.m. today, the National Weather Service reported.

More than an inch of rain fell in 30 minutes around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, causing some street flooding, according to reports to the National Weather Service. Most of Austin’s rivers and creeks were below flood stage this morning.

More showers and thunderstorms were expected this morning, with a high near 65 today. Friday was expected to be sunny, however.

In Wanamingo, a tornado touched down in a farm field southeast of town on Wednesday, according to a report from an area resident. That ushered in an evening filled with downpours, lightning, thunder and high winds.

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The tornado was on the ground one to two minutes in the field off Goodhue County Road 12 in Cherry Grove Township, emergency management director Gary Fried said. It caused no damage to any buildings, and no one was injured. The tornado touched down about 4:25 p.m.

High winds knocked down trees in several places in Goodhue County, including in Warsaw Township and in the northwestern edge of Red Wing, he said.

Heavy rain brought cars on U.S. 14 in Dodge County to a standstill on the highway’s shoulders shortly before 6 p.m. Minutes later, heavy rain started to fall in downtown Rochester.

In the Rochester area, more scattered storms were expected Thursday, though widespread severe weather is not expected.

Friday should be relatively peaceful with a high around 70, but storms are expected to sweep in again Saturday.

In the Twin Cities metro area Wednesday afternoon, severe thunderstorms with high winds, heavy rain and hail as large as tennis balls moved through the area Wednesday afternoon, knocking down trees, damaging buildings and causing local flooding.

At its peak, Xcel Energy said around 14,600 customers were without power, mostly in the western suburbs.

Gary Fried, Goodhue County emergency management director, said trees were knocked down in several areas but no structural damage was reported.

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A tornado warning was issued for Hennepin and Anoka counties shortly after 2 p.m., but no touchdowns were confirmed in the metro area.

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