MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Severe thunderstorms caused some major damage across southern and central Minnesota Sunday night.

The worst hit reported area is Sauk Centre in northwest Stearns County. There are less than 4,000 homes there.

The fire chief said straight-line winds damaged hundreds of homes and uprooted a countless number of trees.

“Power lines down just about everywhere,” said Sauk Centre Fire Chief Keith Polipnick, “lot of trees, lot of building damage. We’ve got one lumber yard that took some major damage.”

Quite a few trees blew down in Forest Lake, too.

Trees fell on Lake Street and emergency officials said strong winds splintered trees and left a mess both the east and west sides of town.

The National Weather Service issued severe weather warnings Sunday night about a line of thunderstorms capable of producing destructive winds with gusts of more than 70 mph. A trained spotter reported a tornado in Grove City just before 9 p.m., but it hasn’t been confirmed.

In Anoka County, Law Enforcement reported wind as high as 75 miles per hour in the city of Ramsey just after 10 p.m.

The storm also caused widespread power outages. At 6 a.m. Monday, Xcel Energy reported that 13,000 customers were without power. By noon, they 11,000 people were still affected. Many of them are in the St. Cloud area and in the Twin Cities. Connexus Energy reported that 650 customers were without power on noon.

Johnson High School in St. Paul said that their summer school classes are canceled Monday because of no power.

Some building fires were reported after being struck by lightning. Read more about that here.

No injuries were immediately reported.

See Storm Photo Gallery


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