MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — The National Weather Service says several communities in west-central Minnesota are experiencing flash flooding following severe thunderstorms.

Meteorologist Chris Franks says streets in Morris, Glenwood and Starbuck are among those that flooded after big downpours. He says some areas got 4 to 5 inches of rain in two to three hours. Franks says flooding in those areas developed in about an hour because storm drains just couldn’t handle the volume.

Franks says the storms are moving south and east and should have moved into Wisconsin by about 8 a.m. Friday.

He says there will be a few storms during the afternoon but nothing major.

However, Franks says another round of big thunderstorms is coming Friday night. He says everyone in central and southern Minnesota should be alert.

Xcel Energy says nearly 133,500 customers are without power in Minnesota following the thunderstorms, as of 11 a.m.

Mary Sandok, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy, said it could be a couple days before some people get power back.

“I think it could be a couple of days for some customers,” Sandok said. “This is certainly the largest storm we’ve had this year so far.  We might have had one or two that were close last year, but I think this is one of the larger ones we’ve had in the last couple of years.”

She explained why it will take some areas so long to get power restored.

“A lot of the damage is from the lines in the smaller sections of the grid, and maybe even lines going to customers homes.  Those just take longer, because (crews) go one-by-one to fix that.”

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Adam Carter Reports

Officials with Connexus Energy said the storms that swept though the north metro area left about 10,000 of their customers without power. As of Friday morning, less than 3,000 remain without power. All available crews are working to restore power as soon as possible.

The National Weather Service says some parts of Minnesota got 4 to 5 inches of rain in just a couple hours. More storms are expected tonight.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 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 All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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