Storms Spin-out Tornado, Flood Low-Lying Areas, Down Trees Throughout St. Cloud Area [PHOTOS]
UNDATED - Thunderstorms and tornado activity ripped through the St. Cloud metro area last (Friday) night. Stearns County Emergency Management Director Marv Klug and the Stearns County Sheriff's department says there have been no reports of serious injuries. But, there's widespread damage throughout the county.
Klug says the towns around St. Cloud area returned to normal around 9:00 p.m. However, street crews cleared debris in St. Cloud well into the night. It appears the hospital neighborhood was among the hardest hit. The damage is mostly in the form of downed trees. There are some reports of structural damage, but those reports are not widespread. Red Cross volunteers were going house to house right now getting a more specific estimate of the damaged areas.
Klug says there's a confirmed tornado touchdown near Rockville. Residents in that area report hearing a train-like sound. The damage in the St. Cloud metro area was most likely caused by straight-line winds. Several reports from listeners of street flooding, large hail, downed trees, and power outages.
Sauk Rapids officials were busy cleaning-up downed power lines. They were urging residents to stay home and away from areas that could have live wires.
Xcel Energy is reporting about 19,000 customers were without power in the Central Minnesota area at 8:00 p.m.
East Central Energy reports about 16,000 of their customers were without power at 8:30 p.m. They estimate 24-26 hours before power can be fully restored to all of their customers.
There were reports of flooding on Highway 10, which backed up traffic during the storm, the State Patrol says by 8:00 p.m. the flood waters had receded and traffic was flowing once again.
McLeod County Emergency Management Director Kevin Mathews says the roof was torn off a Hutchinson animal medical center, and two semis were blown off highways.
Our WJON Facebook friends have also posted more pics and videos on our Facebook wall. Check them out as well.
And our friends at the St. Cloud Times put together a great video of the storm and its aftermath.