Storm Damage Assessment Underway in Southern Minn.

September 21, 2018 12:32 PM

Crews throughout southern parts of the state are working to clean up after storms caused significant damage Thursday afternoon and night.

The National Weather Service confirmed Friday that at least two tornadoes were confirmed to have touched down in or near Granada and near Morristown. Other tornadoes were reported to have touched down - in locations like Elysian, Medford, Faribault, Northfield and Randolph. NWS crews were still working to confirm those reports.

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Local businesses were damaged in Northfield. Additionally, aerial video captured by Chopper 5 showed extensive damage to farms in the area.

In Faribault, strong winds flipped planes at the airport and sent sheet metal from a hangar flying.

Faribault city officials said the city's compost site will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday through Sunday to assist with storm damage clean-up. Only yard debris - leaves, tree branches, brush, etc. - will be accepted.

City officials said the damage "is substantial and city crews are doing their best to open streets, remove debris and keep everyone safe."

Morristown City Administrator Brad Potter said a curfew that had been place Thursday night while it was dark and city officials assessed the situation on the ground has been lifted, and anyone is now able to enter the community. He said around a dozen homes were damaged there and trees had fallen on vehicles.

In the Twin Cities, record amounts of rain fell in a matter of hours, flooding roads and basements. Xcel Energy was reporting thousands of power failures across the Twin Cities and in communities to the south.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Highway 93 is closed between Henderson and Highway 169 because of flooding on the Rush River. Traffic is currently being detoured to Highway 19.

MnDOT has advised drivers that rising water levels on the Minnesota River may result in closures of both Highway 19 and 93 in the Henderson area by early next week.

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KSTP's Jonathan Rozelle observed trees that had fallen on homes, roads and businesses in Cannon Falls. Rozelle said powerful winds also brought power lines down.

Police there said in a release that a significant part of the city is without power and some roads remain blocked by downed power lines and trees, including Highway 20.

The city's mayor has declared a state of emergency, and the city is the process of setting up a shelter at the high school for residents impacted by the storm, including residents of a care center that needed to be evacuated because of a generator fire.

Rozelle said despite the significant damage, there haven't been any reports of injuries so far.

Wind gusts of 70 miles per hour were recorded in Mankato at 6:17 p.m.

Meanwhile, KSTP Chief Morning Meteorologist Ken Barlow said the Twin Cities now has the eighth wettest September on record, with 6.49 inches so far.

Barlow added the amount of rain that fell Thursday in the Twin Cities is about what the area sees in a month.

As a result of the storms, Cannon Falls and Fairmont area schools, as well as Granada-Huntley-East Chain Schools, closed Friday. Faribault and Northfield schools started two hours late.

View School Alerts here

Credits

Rebecca Omastiak & Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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