Storms bring high winds, heavy rain, some floodingby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — High winds and heavy rains moved through Minnesota Friday afternoon, with reports of downed trees, wind damage and flash flooding.
Many streets in Rochester were flooded after more than an inch of rain fell in what has already been a wet week. Officials there are urging motorists to watch for water on the roadways and, if possible, avoid driving.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for east Olmsted, northwestern Winona and southeastern Wabasha counties - all in southeast Minnesota. The warnings are in effect until midnight.
Funnel clouds were spotted south of Byron and in the Rockdale area, about 15 miles from Rochester. There have also been reports of lightning strikes and power outages.
An official with Olmsted Medical Center said the center's Rochester Southeast clinic, an outpatient facility, sustained minor water damage when rainwater from the roof began draining into a non-patient-care area of the clinic's basement. The area has since been cleaned up.
Numerous damage reports came in from near St. Cloud. Trees are down on the St. John's University campus in Collegeville, although there are no reports of damage to any buildings.
Wind gusts of nearly 60 mph were reported in central Minnesota. In Benton County, an 18-wheeler was blown over and several billboards were blown down, according to National Weather Service officials. A tornado was spotted south of Kasson, but did not touch down.
In Pine County, there were reports of water flowing over some rural roads in the Rock Creek area, and over Highway 70, about three miles east of I-35.
Xcel Energy says it has emergency crews on standby in case of storm-related outages. Currently, it reports less than two dozen in east metro and less 100 in the west metro.
During the peak of Thursday night's storms, about 11,500 people lost power. Xcel says all power was restored to those customers by about 3:30 p.m. Friday.