Thousands Without Power After Storms

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Power companies reported they were restoring power for thousands of customers left in the dark after thunderstorms rolled through the region overnight.

Xcel Energy’s website showed more than 3,000 customers were still experiencing power outages in the Twin Cities as of 10 a.m.

Connexus Energy also said about 4,000 customers were without power after strong winds rolled through the metro area.

Connexus representatives said Sherburne County was the hardest hit, predominately in the area of Big Lake.

Crews said they should have the power fully restored by later Tuesday.

Eagan Fire Chief Mike Scott said a lightning strike likely started a house fire shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday. Two adults and three children escaped the fire without injury after a neighbor spotted flames coming through the roof. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

Neighbors said they heard a loud clap of thunder about an hour before the fire was reported.

There are expected to be more storms going into the week. Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak said rain showers should occur on and off over the next three days.

The National Weather Service says more than 3 inches of rain is predicted this week in central Minnesota.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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