MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Several communities are cleaning up after powerful winds, heavy rains and at least four tornadoes tore through southern Minnesota Thursday night, leaving more than 70,000 people without power and some schools closed.
The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that tornadoes touched down in Cannon Falls, a community about 30 miles south of the Twin Cities, Granada, a small town just north of the Iowa border, the Waterville/Lake Elysian area, and Morristown, a community just west of Faribault.
So far, no injuries have been reported.
In Cannon Falls, the tornado that touched down toppled several power lines, leaving hundreds in the dark. City officials say workers there are in the process of building a shelter to help for those who need it.
Schools in Cannon Falls were also affected by the power outages, and district officials canceled Friday’s classes as a result.
In the nearby cities of Owatonna, Faribault and Northfield, classes were likewise canceled due to power outages and blocked roads.
RELATED: School Closings
Xcel Energy says Thursday’s storms knocked out power for more than 71,000 customers across the state. As of Friday morning, around 10,000 homes remain without power.
In the hardest hit areas, crews are working to remove downed trees and power lines.
The utility company says that communities near the Twin Cities metro should see power restored sometime Friday. It could take longer in areas that sustained heavier damage.
— Matt Brickman (@Matt_Brickman) September 21, 2018
Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has several crews investigating storm damage across southern Minnesota. They will determine if the damage was caused by tornadoes or straight-line winds.
WCCO-TV crews found extensive damage at the Faribault Municipal Airport. The landscape was littered with sheet metal from mangled hangars, some of which collapsed onto the planes they housed.
In nearby Northfield, the Red Barn Farm, renowned for its pizza and red brick oven, was completely flattened. The owner said that two weddings were slated to be held there this weekend. Six more were planned through the end of the year.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the business recover.
In the Twin Cities metro, some communities dealt with flash flooding as the storms dumped inches of rain on cities that were already soaked by a week of showers.
Photos from WCCO-TV viewers showed streets in the north metro that looked like rivers, some with cars submerged up to the windows.
— Than Tibbetts (@thanland) September 21, 2018
Looking ahead, Friday is expected to be dry and cool, with temperatures struggling to get out of the 50s. The overnight lows are expected to be the coldest Minnesota has seen since late April.
The sun will return Saturday. Moreover, the first full day of autumn, Sunday, will bring a slight warm-up, with highs reaching the 70s.