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Tornadoes, Severe Storms Roll Through Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Heavy rain, hail, strong winds and tornadoes befell southern Minnesota Thursday as severe storms rolled into the state, moving north and east.

Confirmed tornadoes were spotted in Watonwan County near the towns of St. James and Madelia in the late afternoon, the National Weather Service reported. Later Thursday night, another tornado was confirmed near Gaylord in Sibley County.

No tornado damage or injuries have been reported.

Earlier in the afternoon, strong winds lashed southern Minnesota. Trees fell down and car windows were blown out near Waseca. Farther east in Red Wing, straight-line winds blew the roof off a house, the American Red Cross reports. No one was injured in that incident, but the homeowners are heartbroken.

“I’m lost,” said homeowner Sally Lemmerhirt. “I’m devastated.”

Parts of the roof were blown a third of a mile down the road, and rain damaged the inside of the house.

“Guess we’ll just have to rebuild,” said Randy Lemmerhirt.

(credit: Scott Peterson)

(credit: Scott Peterson)

Counties in southern and central Minnesota – including the Twin Cities metro — were under a tornado watch all day. It expired at 9 p.m.

Some of the storms that passed through the Twin Cities in the afternoon dropped up to 2 inches of rain and small-sized hail, WCCO Weather Watchers reported. Wind damage was also reported in the southeast suburbs, where street signs and trees were blown over.

The storms are expected to weaken Thursday night as they encounter cold air north of the metro, according to meteorologist Matt Brickman.

However, those in northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin could still see heavy rains.

Friday’s forecast holds scattered showers, but no severe storms. The highs look to be in the low 60s.

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