Storms Tear Through Southern Minnesota, Causing Damage

September 20, 2018 10:22 PM

Severe storms tore through southern Minnesota, causing widespread damage Thursday night.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Dakota, Goodhue and Rice Counties, as well as for Dodge and Goodhue Counties.


Widespread damage was being reported in the Waterville area. A KSTP crew reported power was out there.

An employee with the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Department said there were reports of downed trees and power lines in that county as well. 

A campground and RV park near Waterville - Kamp Dels - posted on its Facebook page that a tornado had gone through and asked everyone to stay away from the campground until further notice for safety reasons.

However, the NWS has not yet confirmed a tornado.

The NWS did report significant damage at the Faribault airport, including planes flipped.

KSTP's Eric Chaloux reports hangars were destroyed, power was out and police were directing traffic. Sheet metal from the hangars was wrapped in a knot around light poles.

The Faribault County dispatch reported widespread damage throughout the county. That included Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Easton, where the steeple fell, crashing into the roof.

Those warnings followed a tornado warning that had been issued for Rice County, northern Waseca County and southeastern Le Sueur County earlier in the night.

An individual at the Elysian General Store told KSTP there were trees down across the street and tornado sirens were sounding at around 6:45 p.m.

Heavy rainfall was visible on a MnDOT traffic camera on Interstate 35 just south of Faribault.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service added Hennepin and Ramsey Counties to a tornado watch effective until 11 p.m. Thursday.  There were scattered reports of flooding around the metro area.

That included in Robbinsdale where the city advised anyone with flooding concerns to call 911.

"Anyone with street flooding concerns should report directly to 911 so calls can be prioritized," a Facebook post read. "There are water issues all over. We can try to keep cars from driving into water and getting stalled."

KSTP Interactive Radar

Further east, in Spring Valley, Wisconsin, an officer with the city's police department said winds were strong enough to pick up a dugout from the baseball field and fling it into the side of the high school building. He said multiple trees were down and part of the roof was damaged.

Concrete signs that say Spring Valley High School knocked down as well.

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Frank Rajkowski, Eric Chaloux and Brett Hoffland

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


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