Storms knock out power to 135,000 customers in MN, WI

August 3, 2022 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A line of severe storms that swept across Minnesota and Wisconsin caused widespread damage to trees, poles and power lines and knocked out electrical service to 135,000 customers.

Xcel Energy said power has been restored to 70% of customers who lost it during overnight storms.

The largest power outages were west of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Winds Tuesday night gusted as high as 81 mph near Hector in Renville County in southern Minnesota. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported a peak wind gust of 62 mph.

The National Weather Service said it received reports of trees and branches down from Carver and McLeod counties east across the Twin Cities.

Also in Minnesota, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported that a house in the city of Grant caught fire after being hit by lightning. No one was hurt. The Bloomington Fire Department shared video of downed power lines sparking a small fire after the storms moved through.

The storms rolled in after an intensely hot, humid day across much of central and southern Minnesota on Tuesday, with the heat index reaching as high as 115 degrees in some spots. The Twin Cities airport had a peak heat index of 109 degrees, according to the weather service.