UNDATED -- A line of severe storms barreled through central Minnesota late this afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines in parts of Stearns County.

Severe thunderstorms began firing up in western Minnesota before 3:00 p.m. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for for southwestern Stearns County shortly after 3:00 p.m.

There are reports of trees and power lines down in the Paynesville and St. Martin areas. Parts of Paynesville, St. Martin and Cold Spring lost power this (Tuesday) afternoon and trees are reported down in Rockville.

The National Weather Service says the storms knocked down trees up to 2 feet in diameter between Cold Spring and Kimball. Widespread tree damage was reported between South Haven and Annandale, where gusts topped 71 mph. A pole barn was blown down near Becker.

The storms packed winds of up to 70 miles-per-hour and brought heavy downpours.

Xcel Energy reports 10,000 customers without power, while Wright-Hennepin Co-op Electric has over 8,000 customers without power.

The storms also prompted tornado warnings in Chippewa, Kandyohi, Wright and Meeker counties. There were no reports of any tornado touchdowns, however.

The weather service says a tornado touched down north of Appleton in Swift County of western Minnesota around 3 p.m. There were no immediate reports of damage from it.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


Tree Damage in Cold Spring, photo courtesy of Stearns County



(Photo: Matt Schmiesing)
(Photo: Matt Schmiesing)