Overnight storms cause thousands to be without power across Minnesota, Wisconsin
Power crews are back out Wednesday morning after overnight thunderstorms moved through Minnesota and Wisconsin and left thousands of people without electricity.
A large tree was knocked down on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, blocking part of the road at Sargent. Cres were already out at 3 a.m. to clean up the area. CLICK HERE to send in your pictures of storm damage.
As of 6 a.m., there are more than 15,000 Xcel Energy customers without power across the two states, with about half of those in the metro area. Six hours later, that number was down to under 6,000 customers across the region, and more than 2,200 customers in the metro area. You can find a list of major utility companies in the state and links to their website by CLICKING HERE.
In Stearns County, authorities there say moderate damage has been reported in the cities of Brooten and Belgrade as well as their surrounding townships. Community members are being asked to be on the lookout for hazards and workers cleaning up the damage, as assessments continue.
Meanwhile, aerial footage from Chopper 5 showed many trees down, and multiple roofs torn off of buildings. You can watch the video at the top of this article.
The National Weather Service (NWS) says a crew went to Kandiyohi County, where they found straight line wind damage. The NWS adds wind speeds there may have reached anywhere from 75-85 mph.
Wind and hail were reported across areas south of I-94 in central Minnesota. CLICK HERE for an interactive storm report map.
At one point, the National Weather Service reported wind speeds reaching more than 80 miles per hour near New London, west of the Twin Cities Metro. Just over an inch of rain fell at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport overnight.
The race is on to restore power as extreme heat is expected across the region Wednesday and Thursday – high temperatures could hit 100 degrees. A Forecast First Alert is in effect for the next two days due to dangerous heat and humidity. You can find the latest forecast by CLICKING HERE and the latest weather advisories by CLICKING HERE.
Other parts of the country are also seeing hot weather, and scientists say the ocean water near Key Largo has reached 101 degrees, which could be a new record. Some scientists say half of the ocean water around the globe will be experiencing heat wave conditions by September.
In Phoenix, Arizona, KSTP’s ABC affiliate put a 300-pound block of ice to the test in 119-degree heat – it took about three and a half hours for it to melt.
CLICK HERE for the latest on the heat, including where you can find cooling centers near you.